The group is expected to discuss global issues including ways to boost economic growth, address climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic….reports Asian Lite News
The inaugural ceremony of the US-hosted Summit of the Americas kicked off here, with a notable absence of several key regional leaders.
The official opening ceremony for the summit, running from Wednesday through Friday, was hosted by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden.
The President will lead the summit, which is being hosted by the US for the first time since the inaugural event in 1994, with leaders from North, South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean.
The group is expected to discuss global issues including ways to boost economic growth, address climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, the summit was overshadowed by the absence of multiple Latin American leaders, including those of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, who boycotted the meeting and those of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, who were excluded by Washington.
Meanwhile, Uruguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou dropped out after contracting Covid-19, and Bolivia also declined to attend.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, arguably the most important Latin American leader on the summit’s guest list, announced on Monday morning that he would stay at home.
“There cannot be a Summit of the Americas if all countries of the Americas cannot attend,” Lopez Obrador told the media.
“This is to continue the old interventionist policies, lacking respect for nations and their people.”
Biden administration officials sought to downplay the absence of Lopez Obrador.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre insisted the Mexican delegation, even without its President, would make “significant contributions” to the summit and its goals.
The Summit of the Americas are periodic meetings of regional heads of state and government to address diplomatic and trade issues of importance at the continental level.
Its first edition was held in Miami in 1994, and since then the event has been accused of excluding countries with political ideologies different from that of the US, such as Cuba and Venezuela.