Features — 17 December 2013 — by Adele Ramos
Barrow and Sedi in Venezuela

Belize Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dean Barrow, is in Caracas, Venezuela, today for the II Extraordinary Session of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and PetroCaribe, which is being convened Monday, December 16, and Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

Accompanying the Prime Minister is Belize Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, who also accompanied him at the 42nd Heads of State and Government Summit, held in Buenaventura, Panamá, last week, under the umbrella of the Central American Integration System (SICA).

On Friday, December 13, SICA announced that it had sealed a new alliance with the European Union (EU), with the signing of the Agreement of Association between Central América and the European Unión. A summit was also held with EU President, Joao Durao Barroso, of Portugal.

At the SICA gathering, Prime Minister Barrow congratulated Panama for its work and leadership as the pro-tem chair of SICA.

Barroso, of the EU, told the Central American countries that there is a need to confront issues such as climate change, security and sustainable development as a region.

Coming out of last week’s meeting with the EU, SICA has also accepted the EU as an extra-regional observer of the Central American organization.

The EU-SICA cooperation would be for 900 million euros, of which 120 million would be earmarked for regional projects and the rest for bilateral initiatives.

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