Brazil Wants United Defense in South America and Offers to Be Peacemaker

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim The Brazilian government will propose the creation of a South American Defense Board which would enable the region "to think in the common future, of a very rich region that must be well defended," said Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim.

The announcement was made Sunday, December 2, in São Paulo, in the Brazilian southeast, and the proposal is to be presented in the third presidential summit of the South American Union scheduled to take place in Colombia.

Talking with foreign correspondents Amorim said that Brazil is not paranoiac about an attack on the region, "but we must defend the region in the most coordinated possible way."

"We already have an Inter American Defense Board, why not then a South American Defense Board," underlined Amorim.

The objective is "to increase the exchange of experiences, improve collaboration and joint training" of South American Armed Forces.

"We're not talking of a joint command and it's basically targeted to help unbind conflicting knots and regional mistrusts," he added pointing to the fact that the "geo-strategic stance it confronts, whether we admit them or not, are the old continental concepts emanating from United States."

More specifically on Venezuela Amorim said the Brazilian policy is, "no matter what happens in Caracas, it's easier for Mercosur to influence Venezuela than Venezuela to influence Mercosur."

Amorim also added that Brazil was open, if requested "to contribute to undo the recent misunderstandings between presidents Chavez and Uribe."

"We're not judging any side, but it's evident misunderstandings exist," he said revealing that on his way back to Brazil he stopped in Colombia to chat with his Colombian counterpart Fernando Araújo.

"I tried the same with Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro but he was out of the country, so I'll call him after the referendum."

Amorim said that "discreetly" Brazil will try to bring both countries closer and recalled that three years ago Uribe and Chavez also went through a spat of mutual accusations.

Mercopress

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