Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos casts doubt on the future of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), following the election of former Argentinian president Nestor Kirchner as secretary general, reports Radio Santa Fe.
Speaking from the World Fair in Shanghai, China on Wednesday, Santos made his views known without directly referring to the new secretary general.
“We’ll see if this new appointment strengthens UNASUR or leads to its death,” Santos said.
Argentina’s Nestor Kirchner was elected by a consensus of representatives from the twelve member nations, and sworn in on Tuesday.
President Alvaro Uribe decided not to attend the meeting and instead sent foreign minister Jaime Bermudez, who is a former ambassador to Argentina.
In contrast to the vice president’s comment, Bermudez took words of support to the luxury resort town of Campana.
“I congratulate President Kirchner, Argentina and Unasur. To find a full consensus is a clear sign of political determination,” said Bermudez.
Bermudez also urged the union to focus on export restrictions, nations meddling in internal affairs of other countries, and migration.
UNASUR is an inter-governmental organization, modeled on the European Union, that merges two existing customs unions: Mercosur and the Andean Community of Nations, as part of a continuing process of South American integration.