CARICOM-SICA Summit Starts in El Salvador

San Salvador, Aug 19 (Prensa Latina) The 3rd Summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the Community of Caribbean States (CARICOM) began Friday, with the aim of discussing security issues, risk management, climate change and trade.

The meeting of heads of State and Government of the two regional blocs follows the foreign ministers’ meeting held on Thursday, during which they prepared the talking points for Friday.

We have common challenges in both regions, so this meeting is very important to find common solutions, said Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez.

Martinez added that Central America can support the Caribbean not only in trade but also in integrated management.

The economic exchange between both regions is between 600 and 700 million dollars a year, according to official data.

“We’ve made some bilateral agreements between countries in the Caribbean region and now we will try to approve these agreements from region to region,” said Martinez.

The most controversial topics to be dicsussed by the presidents include the recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state, a prelude to the acceptance of that country in the UN General Assembly in September.

The presidents will also discuss the legal-related issues of the two blocs and try to confront a US attempt to increase the tariff on ethanol, which can affect the biofuel plants in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

The 3rd Summit will also discuss the comprehensive climate change risk management, about which both blocs share concerns, according to Martinez.

Caricom, established in 1973, groups Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic as an Associated State are the members of SICA.

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