Next Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Minister and his counterparts from the three leading countries of the Rio Group, comprising 19 Latin American countries, are to meet in Moscow to discuss the military operation in Iraq, Spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti.
The overwhelming majority of Latin American countries, including all the leading nations of the region, are opposing the Iraqi war in conflict with the UN authority," the top official said. They seek an end to the war and want to renew discussions over Iraq in the United Nations. The Rio Group member countries expressed great concern over the undermined prestige of the United Nations as a guarantor of international peace and security. Possible consequences of the Iraqi war for the world economy are particularly alarming, Yakovenko noted.
According to him, it will be the first visit of the three foreign ministers of the Rio Group leading countries to Russia. The negotiations will signal a new stage in the development of Russia's high-level relations with Latin America. The forthcoming negotiations "show that Russia and Latin America are ready to compare views on the key international issues," the diplomat believes. The international community's ability to resolve yet the gravest regional crisis of the 21st century has been put to test, Yakovenko pointed out.
Russia has been co-operating with the Rio Group since 1997. The Brazilian, Peruvian, and Costa-Rican Prime Ministers are expected to arrive in Moscow. These countries represent the three key sub-regions of the Latin American Continent: the Andes Community, Central America and the South Cone.