A dozen Dominicans wait on the side of the road holding flags of their country. The traffic transits escorted by the flag of the Ibero-American countries. The leaders representing the 22 countries that attend the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit, the first 100% face-to-face after the Covid pandemic, land at Las Américas International Airport in Santo Domingo. Felipe VI landed this Thursday; Pedro Sánchez does it this Friday from Brussels, after participating in the European Council. An appointment that despite being held in Santo Domingo looks at Ukraine and China.
The war flies over the appointment. Not only because the consequences of the Russian invasion have worldwide effects, but also because in the final documents approved at this meeting there will be an allusion to the war in Ukraine, which generates different positions among the Latin American countries. Spain will raise the issue of Ukraine not only at the summit itself, but on the margins of it, as it will be one of the issues that the Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, will take up in his meetings with the Ibero-American foreign ministers. It would be the first time that there would be a joint pronouncement of the Ibero-American countries on the conflict, since these differences have not led to any.
The final declaration of this summit has been debated for months, with Ukraine being one of the elements to be defined. Spain has presented different proposals. In any case, the Spanish position, as defined by Minister Albares in a meeting with journalists, involves continuing to support Ukraine because "we not only defend the territorial integrity of a country's sovereignty, but we also defend the most elementary principles of the United Nations charter. The Spanish government begins to introduce more regularly in its discourse, and on the brink of assuming the Rotary presidency of the EU, the concept of "just peace" as a wish and expectation. "A peace within the principles of the United Nations charter".
And the conflict in Ukraine is also associated with looking at China. Not only because in a few days Pedro Sánchez is going to make an official visit to Beijing on March 30 and 31, but because one of the great absences from this Ibero-American Summit in Santo Domingo will be Lula da Silva. The Brazilian president is not going to attend because he is making a state visit to China from March 26 to 31. That is, he moves to the Asian giant before Pedro Sánchez. "China has a key role in its possible mediation in the war in Ukraine", they expose from the Spanish government.
Lula's absence is added to that of other leaders such as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador; or the leaders of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, and of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega. The President of Peru, Dina Boluarte, did not attend either, and the country's Foreign Minister, Ana Cecilia Gervasi, attended in her place. There is still a question as to whether Nicolás Maduro will attend, whose presence could serve to undertake his purpose of whitewashing his figure, a task that the Venezuelan president already began at the climate summit in Egypt, in November 2022, with a loud and striking greeting with the president of France, Emmanuel Macron.
Faced with notable absences such as those of Lula or López Obrador, Minister Albares wanted to emphasize that "there will be no absences, there will be none empty seats" but rather "all countries will be represented at a very high level", has defended.
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