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Rio Group Summit to Close with Economic Plan - 2003-05-24

Latin American leaders are expected to sign a resolution promoting regional democracy and economic stability Saturday, on the final day of the Rio Group summit.

The so-called "Cuzco Consensus" plan is the product of talks focusing on ways to tackle economic hardship, social unrest and political instability affecting many nations in the region.

The two-days of meetings in Cuzco, Peru, also included plans for a regional investment authority to fund anti-poverty efforts.

On Friday, several leaders voiced support for a resolution calling on the United Nations to help combat drug-related violence in Colombia and other Andean countries.

Ecuador's president, Lucio Gutierrez, presented the resolution, which calls for U.N. officials to pressure leftist guerrillas in Colombia to adopt a cease-fire and hold peace talks with the Colombian government.

At the United Nations, a spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Friday Mr. Annan would support any efforts toward peaceful reconciliation in the region.

Later Saturday, many of the leaders are expected to travel to the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, for a ceremony transferring power to the country's new president.

Nestor Kirchner won Argentina's presidency earlier this month, when his chief rival backed out of a run-off election.