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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 October 2005, 22:47 GMT 23:47 UK
Cut summits, urges Colombia head
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe at the Ibero-American summit in Salamanca
Alvaro Uribe says diplomatic spending is "shamefully high"
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has taken a swipe at what he described as "presidential tourism" on the last day of an Ibero-American summit in Spain.

He encouraged the use of teleconferences instead of costly meetings, and said austerity was needed in global diplomatic policy.

Leaders at the summit also issued a statement calling on the United States to end its blockade of Cuba.

They also decided to set up a permanent Ibero-American secretariat.

Mr Uribe thanked Spain for its lavish hospitality in the university city of Salamanca.

But he pointed out that there were at least five yearly summits of Latina American leaders, and that it was time for the meetings to "pass from speeches to reality".

Cuban 'blockade'

The 17 leaders who attended the summit meanwhile called on the US to comply with 13 consecutive United Nations resolutions and "bring an end to the economic, trade and financial blockade it maintains against Cuba".

The summit also issued a separate resolution in which they called for the extradition of the man responsible for a 1976 attack on a Cuban plane flying between Caracas and Havana which claimed 73 lives.

Luis Posada Carriles, who was not mentioned by name, is currently detained in the United States, but Venezuela has sought his extradition.

Several leaders did not attend the meeting, including Cuban President Fidel Castro and the presidents of Ecuador, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Some of them were coordinating rescue efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Stan.

The aim of the newly-created secretariat is to control the implementation of agreement and maintain momentum between summits.

The summit's new secretary general, Enrique Iglesias, said the secretariat would become "the main voice for the Ibero-American community".




SEE ALSO:
Profile: Alvaro Uribe Velez
21 Jun 05 |  Americas
Cuba and Panama call summit truce
19 Nov 04 |  Americas
Strong quake shakes summit city
21 Nov 04 |  Americas
Latin summit opens in Caribbean
16 Nov 02 |  Americas


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