UNASUR: “We have decided to construct a mutual commitment to defence and peace, rejecting the use of force against another State”
The main subject at the summit was the installation of US bases in Colombia. Alvaro Uribe defended the decision to allow them in order to combat drug-trafficking, while President Correa pointed out that “Never before have we discussed foreign bases in South America, and we used to have them in Ecuador for example,” and he stressed the creation of “criteria and rules”.
Evo Morales Declares his Opposition to the Establishment of Military Bases and Proposes a Referendum
At the summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to be held in the city of Bariloche, Argentina, Evo Morales, the President of Bolivia, will propose a continental referendum on the establishment of US military bases in Colombia. In recent declarations he has called for a defence of the interests of Latin American peoples.
An attempt to mediate in Honduras by the Organization of American States (OAS) is being resisted by the interim government of Honduras. The OAS sent a delegation of top officials to negotiate the return of the ousted president Manuel Zelaya. The OAS proposed Tegucigalpa to install a government of national unity with Manuel Zelaya at its head until the November elections.
Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Saeb Erakat, said today, 25th August, that a just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis was possible. “International law and United Nations resolutions clearly outline how to resolve this conflict. The Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative provide a clear way forward”, said Erakat.
The official list published Saturday of winners in elections to the Revolutionary Council of the Palestinian Fatah movement included 67-year-old Dr. Uri Davis, a Jerusalem-born Jew. He was elected number 31 of 80 members. When his name was announced, members in the auditorium of the Bethlehem school where the conference was being held, applauded long and loud.
A legislative amendment already passed into Law by Congress would permit the Justice ministry to be renamed the Ministry of Justice and Peace, instead of Justice and Grace, its current denomination. In addition, the legislative amendment will create the National System for Promotion of Peace and Citizen Coexistence, an essential point of this model initiative for Latin America.
Iraqi’s government is backing a vote that could force an early US withdrawal. On Monday, the Iraqi cabinet said it would support holding a national referendum over the US-Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement. The agreement calls for a US withdrawal by the end of 2011. But if Iraqis reject the timetable, US troops would be forced to begin pulling out nearly one year earlier.
The new Honduran regime has severed diplomatic ties with Argentina in response to the expulsion last week of Honduran ambassador to Buenos Aires, Carmen Eleonora Ortez Williams, because of her support for the military coup. A delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is currently in Honduras to investigate mistreatment of Zelaya’s supporters.
In other Mideast news, the Israeli military has declared the shooting of an unarmed American peace activist “an act of war.” The activist, Tristan Anderson, was critically injured when Israeli soldiers fired a tear gas canister directly at his head in March. According to Anderson’s family this would mean that Israel’s government admits that it is at war with civilians.
The election campaigns in Afghanistan have ended with mass rallies by a number of presidential candidates. Actual President Hamid Karzai and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah lead the polls. To gain support of the Ayatollahs and Uzbek voters, Karzai approved a law against women’s right to refuse sexual demand of husbands and allowed the return of Abdul Rashid Dostum.