Berlin, Germany. – Germany today proposed a closer political and economic relationship in Latin America in times of global challenges such as climate change and in which the United States withdraws from the international scene as Russia and China advance.
In the opening speech of the Conference of the Latin America-Caribbean Initiative in Berlin, in which around twenty foreign ministers of the region participate, the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, assured that the countries present there share “values”, “interests” and “culture” and they need each other.
“We are natural allies,” said the minister, who stressed that partners are necessary in a world “in which insecurity has grown dramatically.”
China, he argued, takes advantage of its “economic power in an increasingly offensive way as a means of political pressure”, Russia resorts to “military violence” to impose its policy and the United States has become “more unpredictable” with its president Donald Trump.
“In a world where the law of the strongest replaces the force of law, the States of Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean can only lose, we are not superpowers,” he said.
In this context, Berlin aims to strengthen its ties with Latin America both politically – with issues in mind such as climate change, sexist violence and migratory flows – as well as economically and commercially.
The current diplomatic collaboration in the Venezuelan crisis is an example of how Europe and Latin America can work together based on shared values, but relations should not be limited to “crisis management,” he reasoned.
Maas advocated a “format of lasting dialogue” on migration in which to share experiences, to intensify cooperation in the fight against global warming and to collaborate in the eradication of “feminicide and sexualized violence in conflicts”.
Economically, he considered that relations have great potential and can be strengthened if Latin America, for its part, works to improve legal security.
“When I talk to German businessmen about how to boost economic relations with Latin America, they often talk to me about legal security and the fight against corruption,” he explained.
The “objective” of Germany is to advance the negotiations to close “as soon as possible” the EU trade agreements with “Mercosur, Chile and Mexico”, in 2020 and 2021.
The conference is attended by the ministers of most countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, from Argentina to Mexico, through Chile, Colombia, Bolivia and Panama, as well as important German businessmen. EFE