Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman confirmed Thursday that the Summit of the Americas taking place in Panama will not issue a final declaration due to opposition from Canada and the United States.
“There was no agreement on several points and as a result this summit will not have a final document,” said Timerman, adding that he considered it a “shame.”
The lack of a final declaration, which is customary during these summits, is attributed specifically to the intransigence of representatives from the United States and Canada who opposed certain clauses contained within the draft.
Argentine news outlet Telam confirmed that the clauses in the draft document that made references to the strengthening of collective rights, as well as those that called on states to have greater obligations, were opposed by the U.S. and Canada.
Timerman, who sits on the Summit Implementation Review Group, said that Argentina argued that the differences should have been debated by the heads of state, but instead the debate was centered around whether there would be a final declaration or not.
The last Summit of the Americas, held in Colombia in 2012, also did not issue a final declaration.
The seventh Summit of the Americas begins Friday in Panama and will feature the participation of a delegation from the Cuban government, headed by Cuban President Raul Castro. This will mark the first time Cuba will participate since being expelled from the OAS in 1962 at the behest of the United States.
The summit is also likely to feature a debate about U.S. President Barack Obama's recent executive order declaring Venezuela to be a “threat” to U.S. national security. Other regional bodies, such as Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Union of South American Nations — which do not include the United States or Canada — have called on Obama to repeal the decree.
In a recent about-face, Obama himself admitted that Venezuela is not a threat to U.S. national security.
Timerman reiterated Argentina's call for the decree to be repealed. “We oppose the interference of foreign countries in the internal affairs of other countries,” said Timerman.
He added that the U.S. failed to send a representative to the meeting of foreign ministers, which proceeds the opening of the summit.