EU-CELAC summit produces promises of further cooperation

Leaders of more than 60 European Union, Latin American and Caribbean countries meet in Brussels to discuss ways to strengthen ties between two continents

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The leaders from the European Union (EU) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) met in Brussels on Wednesday to improve economic and political ties between the two groups.

European Council President Donald Tusk expressed EU’s support for ongoing negotiations between Cuba and the United States to normalise decades-long hostilities between the two countries.

"We welcome full normalisation of Cuba relations with the United States and the end of the embargo," Tusk said.

"We support the process of modernisation in Cuba and we are committed to concluding negotiations of our political dialogue and cooperation agreement."

The two sides aim to reach a political framework for dialogue and cooperation by the end of 2015 to normalise relations which were frozen in 2003.

The officials from 28 EU members and 33 CELAC countries also agreed to improve economic cooperation.

The EU promised 118 million euros of investment in Latin American and Caribbean countries and to contribute 26.5 million euros in building fiber optics cable between the two continents.

The EU also announced it would support peace efforts in Colombia between the government and leftist  Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels and help the country rebuild.

"I'm pleased to announce that the EU will set up a trust fund to support post-conflict actions in the country," said Tusk.

The Colombian government has been holding peace talks with the FARC rebels since 2012 to end the decades-long conflict but recent clashes interrupted the process.

About 200,000 people have been killed and more than 6 million displaced because of the conflict since 1964.

TRTWorld and agencies