Mercosur countries join the Russian and French position against London-Washington's military actions in Middle East
In recent statements, the governments of Brazil and Argentina made clear their position on the deadly attacks carried on joint Britain and US forces in Iraq. The official reaction from the largest economies of South America has been uniformly negative even before watching Friday's huge explosions in Baghdad.
In Brasilia, President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva condemned the invasion of Iraq and criticized Bush's administration for showing little interest on diplomatic procedures. "It's an act of disrespect to the United Nations and the rest of the world", said Lula. "All of us want for Iraq not to have atomic weapons or weapons of mass destruction", he said, following the lines of the French position at the UN Security Council.
"All of us want a world living in peace, but does not give the United States the right to decide by itself what is good and what is bad for the rest of the world", stated Brazil's head of state. Brazil had pushed for a joint Latin American declaration on this issue but according to diplomatic sources it was stopped not to provoke a controversy with the powerful northern neighbor.
Argentina and Uruguay were the only Latin American countries to participate in the Gulf War I in 1991. However, for the second, they preferred to reject any support to the war and back Chile on its frustrated efforts at the UN Security Council.
Shortly before Friday's deadly bombing over Baghdad, Argentine President Eduardo Duhalde made his strongest statement against US strikes. "We are against the war and we are not going to support it or take part in it", said Duhalde to the local press. "We hope the strikes will end as soon as possible with the less number of innocent victims. The Argentine head of state repeated Russia's Vladimir Putin words by saying that the war was "unjust".
In Argentina over 75% of the people is against the war on Iraq and the anti-US spirit rose from 55% to an unprecedented 74%, shortly after the invasion begun, surveys say. Daily anti-war protests spill the streets and seize the US Embassy in Buenos Aires. The last one on Thursday ended with clashes between marchers and the police.
Argentineans think that the United States and the United Kingdom are conducting this war on economical purposes. More precisely, to seize Iraq's vast natural resources. Therefore, many in Buenos Aires are afraid this would have consequences for Argentina, country that holds America's largest reserves of drinkable water.
Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina
Photo: Lula left, shake Duhalde's hand during the visit of the Brazilian to Argentina last December.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced a possible move that Russia can take in response to new US sanctions
The Central Bank of Turkey announced measures to protect the financial market of Turkey against the background of the collapse of the Turkish lira and conflict of interests with the United States of America