The EU signs agreements with Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras and El Salvador | International

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The summit of the European Union and CELAC —Community of Latin American and Caribbean States—, the first in eight years to be held these days in Brussels, has served several countries in the region to sign memorandums of understanding with the European authorities. Specifically, Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras and El Salvador will leave this meeting with framework agreements that will regulate their relations with the continent.

The Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, signed a memorandum of understanding with the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, which outlines key lines of energy cooperation through renewable energies, green hydrogen and the fight against methane emissions. . He also stresses the importance of a fair energy transition. "For the benefit of our growth and generating employment, we can be reliable providers in the transition to clean and renewable energy," Fernández wrote on his Twitter account.

For her part, the President of the Commission stressed that Europe and Argentina are working together in search of a more "safe, prosperous and sustainable" world. Von der Leyen pointed out that the agreement is an "important step for the launch" of the Global Gateway investment agenda, the tool that was presented this Monday at the business forum parallel to the EU-Celac summit by which the body he presides over has promised this Monday 45,000 million euros (50,500 million dollars) in financing plans for the region.

The agreement establishes that the EU and Argentina work together to develop and promote efficient renewable energy, as well as the use of green hydrogen and other derivatives. In addition, they commit to reduce methane leaks in the supply chain as much as possible and to search for technologies that contribute to lower polluting emissions and increase the efficiency of the natural gas supply chain.

A memorandum to improve political dialogue and cooperation with Ecuador

In the case of Ecuador, Foreign Minister Gustavo Manrique signed a memorandum of understanding to improve political and sectoral dialogue and cooperation for the next decade with the high representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, in the presence of the president of that country , Guillermo Lasso.

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“This memorandum of understanding is intended to strengthen our relationships and take them one step further,” Borrell said after the signing. “Our relations are already good. We have a successful trade agreement in place and you know how difficult it is to establish trade agreements today. We've had ours for a long time and it works. I think we have to move towards a broader cooperation agreement that goes beyond strictly commercial issues”, he insisted.

The high representative of the EU assured that he will send a mission of electoral experts to reinforce the transparency of the presidential elections on August 20. In addition, the agreement establishes eight priority areas to strengthen relations such as security, environment and climate change, multilateral cooperation, digital transformation, the scientific and educational agenda or the migration agenda, as announced by EL PAÍS.

More concise agreements with El Salvador and Honduras

For the Foreign Minister, the memorandum represents an opportunity in favor of well-being and common ground to deepen "political ties and shared interests in fields such as security, the environment, economic and social affairs or cooperation."

Finally, with Honduras and El Salvador, Borrell signed more succinct agreements that lay the foundations for a bilateral political dialogue through "periodic consultations." In the case of El Salvador, the high European representative signed the agreement with the chancellor, Alexandra Hill Tinoco, while in the case of Honduras, he did so with the foreign minister, Enrique Reina.

"I am pleased to have a reliable partner in El Salvador and I am also pleased to be able to accompany the country towards a more inclusive and sustainable development in the great issues that concern us: the digital transition, the ecological transition, but also - and, above all - the social transition, which involves the empowerment of women and by an extension of the fundamental values: transparency, democratic governance and the rule of law”, said Borrell after the signing. He did not allude to the complaints about the growing authoritarianism in the Central American country that, under the excuse of fighting gangs, has kept the country under an emergency regime for a year that limits the rights of citizens.

A similar step has been taken more recently by Honduran President Xiomara Castro to combat gang violence. In the case of that country, Borrell signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen their bilateral relations and develop an "open and regular" dialogue. “We know that this cooperation cannot be reduced to a list of investments. We must address the social challenges, the vital economic challenges that your country is facing, strengthen governance, the rule of law, the fight against impunity and corruption," Borell said in a speech in which he defended "the protection of human rights as a fundamental part of the construction of a just society”.

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