Mercosur and Unasur leaders to hold a joint discussion next Friday in Mendoza
Chilean president Sebastián Piñera revealed that next Friday during the regular Mercosur summit, the leaders of Unasur member states are scheduled to hold an extraordinary meeting to jointly address the political crisis in Paraguay triggered by the removal of President Fernando Lugo.
The Friday meeting apparently cancels the Wednesday Union of South American Nations extraordinary summit announced earlier by Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa and which was to take place in Lima, Peru.
The idea of a special meeting of Unasur was initiated by Peru, which is scheduled to take over the presidency of the group next October (currently held by Paraguay) but given the regional consensus regarding the new Paraguayan government, it is almost certain that the transfer will be advanced and most probably removed-president Lugo will be invited.
Lugo is also expected to attend this Friday’s Mercosur summit on a ‘testimonial” condition since the new Paraguayan government has been specifically excluded from the meeting.
It is expected that on Friday authorities from the twelve members of Unasur will make it to the Mendoza Mercosur summit and thus a consensus decision can be reached between the two organizations
Unasur Secretary General Alí Rodríguez said that the “immediate step is the summit of Unasur heads of state. At the moment we are doing the contacts to see which could be the most practical scenario for such an event”.
“At the meeting we are going to vigorously demand respect for Lugo’s physical integrity and of all those exercising their constitutional rights to protest and express their ideas” indicated the Unasur secretary general who added that there is a “proposal to create a human rights council in the framework of Unasur to address situations such as those which occurred in Paraguay”.
The measures to be implemented by Unasur leaders will add to those adopted by Argentina, Ecuador, Venezuela, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia and Brazil that have withdrawn or recalled their ambassadors in Asuncion.
In Lima the president of the Latin American Parliament Panama’s Elias Castillos underscored the regional concern about events in Paraguay during the opening in the Peruvian capital of the XVII meeting of Parlatino committees.