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Foreign Ministry formally announces Argentina's withdrawal from Unasur

Argentina suspended its participation of the bloc last year, along with a number of other nations, and is one of the founding members of the new Prosur initiative, pushed by Chile.

Monday 15 April, 2019
A statue of late former Argentine president Néstor Kirchner stands at the entrance to the UNASUR bloc's headquarters.
A statue of late former Argentine president Néstor Kirchner stands at the entrance to the UNASUR bloc's headquarters. Foto:AP

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The Foreign Ministry has formally announced Argentina's withdrawal from the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) bloc, confirming its widely anticipated exit.

Argentina suspended its participation of the bloc last year, along with a number of other nations, and is one of the founding members of the new Prosur initiative, pushed by Chile.

"This decision was made in the context of the crisis that afflicts that organisation ... for more than two years," read a statement from the Foreign Ministry issued Friday, which cited the "high ideological content" of the bloc.

The statement added that the "diagnosis" of the bloc's usefulness was "shared by several countries in the region, some of which, such as Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru, have also made the decision to withdraw from the Union."

Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Paraguay all suspended their participation in Unasur last year, while Ecuador – under President Lenin Moreno – has demanded the return of the building that houses the general secretariat on the outskirts of Quito.

Argentina communicated its decision in a note addressed to the pro tempore president of the regional body, Bolivia.

The new Prosur bloc, which is set to take Unasur's place, was formally launched in Santiago at the end of March at a meeting attended by the presidents of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru. Venezuela has been excluded from the initiative, while Uruguay and Bolivia are also not involved at present. 

Late Venezuela president Hugo Chavez was a key proponent of the Unasur bloc.

In related news, toward the tail-end of last week, Argentina formally issued diplomatic credentials to Elisa Trotta Gamus, the representative of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó, officially recognising him as the crisis-hit nation's official in Argentina. 

Argentina, in line with more than 50 other nations across the globe, recognised Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president in January, after the National Assembly chief declared himself the nation's leader.

- TIMES/AFP/AP

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