Peru to host Third Summit of Arab-South American Countries in 2011

Peru will host the third edition of the Arab-South American Countries Summit in 2011, reported the Andean country’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The decision was ratified on Wednesday by leaders and senior officials currently attending the Second Summit of Arab-South American Countries which opened in Qatar’s capital city, Doha, on Tuesday. The summit seeks to construct a joint mechanism to tackle the ongoing global financial crisis, and enhance investment and cooperation between the two regions.

“Peru will once again have the responsibility of welcoming a large number of heads of state, (this time) coming from 12 South American countries and 22 Arab countries” according to the statement released by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

“What we would like is to use the summit and Peru’s participation in this initiative as a means to convince more Arab countries – such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar – to invest in Peru,” said the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gonzalo Gutiérrez. “I think we should have an embassy in one of these countries, to promote greater commercial and cultural exchange, and tourism.”

Last year, Peru hosted the Fifth ALC-EU Summit and the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, or APEC.

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva planted the idea of a meeting between Arab and South American countries in 2003, and the first Arab-South American summit was held in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, on May 10-11, 2005. It was the first large international meeting in recent history – outside of the regular work program of the United Nations – whose purpose was to bring together two large and important blocks of developing countries. The first summit ended with the passage of the Brasilia Declaration.

The Arab world and South America make up 10.5 percent of the world’s population.

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