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Inflation, migration in focus at regional Ibero-American summit

Tan KW
Publish date: Sun, 26 Mar 2023, 08:16 AM
Tan KW
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SANTO DOMINGO -Leaders attending the Ibero-American Summit meeting in the Dominican Republic on Saturday highlighted rising inflation and migration as risks to the stability of the region.

Presidents and representatives from 22 countries have gathered in Santo Domingo for the weekend summit, which provides a forum for leaders from across Latin America as well as Spain and Portugal.

The meeting comes as the region is grappling with stubbornly high inflation and global concerns over the financial sector after the failure of U.S. regional banks Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank this month.

"At this point in time, with so much (of the financial sector) concentrated, with so much speculative play, we should already understand that the current financial system does not have to be helped anymore. We must drastically change it," said Argentina President Alberto Fernandez.

Leaders also called for regional collaboration on migration amid thousands of people fleeing Latin American countries for the U.S. border due to economic hardships, rising violence and other challenges.

"Today migration management constitutes one of the great regional challenges," said Chilean President Gabriel Boric. "There is no infallible recipe and any solution requires working together with countries of origin, transit and destination."

Colombian President Gustavo Petro told journalists he was considering going to Haiti to assess the most "constructive" role for Colombia there. The Caribbean state faces a humanitarian crisis driven by gangs that rights groups say now control most of the country.

The United Nations has urged countries to "urgently consider" deploying a specialized force.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, meanwhile, canceledhis attendance at the Ibero-American summit after receiving a positive COVID-19 test result, though he has since tested negative twice, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said.

The summit would have marked Maduro's first foreign trip this year.


  - Reuters


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