Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bolivia Seeks Progressive Framework with U.S.

LA PAZ (digitalwarriormedia) Next month officials from Bolivia and the U.S. will meet in Washington D.C. to refine a framework agreement aimed at re-initiating bilateral relations, Bolivia's UN Ambassador Pablo Solon said on Saturday.

The date of the meeting has yet to be determined for the next phase of restoring normalized diplomacy between the two countries.

According to Solon the framework agreement could be ready by the June meeting, as the document contains only 10 main points. However, the ambassador indicated that a third meeting may be necessary.

Reporting by ABI shows the document outlines progressive ideals such as “absolute respect for human rights and fundamental respect for the diversity of approaches to political, economic, social and cultural rights, promoting peace and nonviolence, social justice, equitable development and harmony with nature for a sustainable development,” in addition to unrestricted respect for domestic law, sovereignty and the self-determination of peoples.

Last week, a high-level delegation led by US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon traveled to La Paz for a two-day meeting where Bolivia delivered its proposal for mending ties.

Relations between the two countries, which deteriorated precipitously in September of last year, are finally on the road to recovery with the cooperation of a new administration in the White House.

Main issues that must be resolved between both nations are the increase of trade, cooperation in combating drug trafficking and the extradition of former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada and two of his former deputies who currently reside in the U.S. and are wanted to face charges of genocide in Bolivia’s Supreme Court.

Last week during Shannon’s visit, President Morales expressed his desire to re-establish relations with the U.S., but only if they were based on mutual respect.

While visiting Bolivia in early May, former President Jimmy Carter expressed hope for increased diplomacy and said he expected an exchange of ambassadors in the coming months, possibly as early as June.

Photos: ABI and AP



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