South American and Arab nations ended their two-day summit in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, Wednesday. South American representatives talked mostly trade during the summit while Arab representatives focused on U.S. and Israeli policy in the Middle East.
South American and Arab nations ended their summit with a call for an end to terror, a ban on nuclear arms and greater economic cooperation.
The host of the meeting, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said the talks marked a new beginning for relations between the two regions. He also had a message for the people of Iraq.
Mr. da Silva said he wants to wish the people of Iraq all the luck in the world. He said the Iraqi people had the opportunity to build a country based on democracy and development.
During the summit, South American leaders spent much of their time discussing commerce and ways to boost trade with Arab nations. Arab representatives, on the other hand, focused on U.S. and Israeli policy in the Middle East.
The joint declaration issued by the 34 nations in attendance attempted to create a unifying theme for their talks. The 15-page Brasilia Declaration calls for closer cooperation bertween the two regions on their common goals for economic and social development.
It also calls for a ban on nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction and denounces all forms of terrorism.
The participants also expressed their concerns about U.S. sanctions against Syria, called for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders and the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including those in East Jerusalem.
Though tough on terrorism, the declaration reaffirms the right of people to resist foreign occupation in accordance with the principle of international legality in compliance with international humanitarian law.