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PARAMARIBO/BRASILIA–Suriname and Zambia on September 2nd inked documents that formalized their diplomatic relationship. Suriname’s ambassador in Brazil, Marlon Mohamed-Houssain signed on behalf of Suriname; Zambia’s ambassador to Brazil signed on behalf of his country.
Both countries already cooperate regionally, through a multilateral arrangement that Caricom has with the South African Development Community. There is also cooperation through the Africa-South America Forum, that embraces the South American UNASUR members and the countries of the African Union (AU).
Government says strengthening the diplomatic relationship with Zambia has to do with its foreign policy of building stronger ties with countries in different geographic regions. “To formulate joint positions and standpoints, regarding subjects that are of mutual interest.”
MERIDA, Venezuela– The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) of which Suriname became a member earlier this year, has taken a wait-and-see stance on the regional rejection of the U.S. government’s decision to impose unilateral sanctions against Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). The U.S. government accuses the Venezuelan firm of sending two cargo ships to Iran delivering $50 million US worth of reformate – a gasoline blending component used to improve the quality of gasoline.
It weren’t just the Venezuelans who the US gave a slap on the wrist. Six other international firms were also sanctioned; PCCI (Jersey/Iran), the Real Oyster Group (United Arab Emirates), Speedy Ship (United Arab Emirates/Iran), Tanker Pacific (Singapore), Ofer Brothers Group (Israel), and Associated Shipbroking (Monaco). All are accused by the U.S. of helping to “facilitate Iran’s efforts to evade U.S. sanctions.”
UNASUR is monitoring the situation but has not adopted an official standpoint yet. Suriname joined this body in January this year. Suriname also in March this year signed a covenant with Caribbean oil alliance PetroCaribe that will see the alliance supplying Suriname with fuel.
Venezuela Analysis reports that the US sanctions on the Venezuelan oil company met region wide opposition; on Wednesday May 25th the Latin American nations that make up the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas (ALBA) expressed their “most firm” collective rejection of the U.S. sanctions imposed on PDVSA. They went on to insist that the U.S. “bring a definitive end to its acts of aggression against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and show an unrestricted respect for the decisions taken by our countries in the exercise of our national sovereignty.”
PARAMARIBO--Suriname has pursued its integration into South America further by formally becoming a member of UNASUR, the Union of South American Nations. The membership was formalized recently, when the official documents were presented to the Equadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration, Ricardo Patillo.
Suriname became the eighth member of the union that is being regarded as a sign that South America’s integration processes are showing a new interest in and capacity to reach common positions in the realm of foreign policy.
Lauding the union recently, Khatchik DerGhougassian, a professor of international relations at the private University of San Andrés in Argentina, told Inter Press Servce (IPS): “It sends out a strategic signal that the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), made up of the 12 countries in the region, can reach common decisions on the international stage, independently of what the United States or other powerhouses do.”
Uraguay is expected to become the ninth member of the union.