By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Guyana and Suriname, both members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), participated in the third Arab-South America (ASPA) culture ministers meeting last week between the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Arab League members in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The meeting ended on Wednesday.
The Arab and South American countries met to promote the cultural dialogue between the two blocks and sought cooperation between cultural institutions of the two regions As well, they discussed having cultural agreements and encouraged both blocs to ratify the UNESCO Convention. The two blocs promised support for the work done by the Arab-South American Library and Research Centre also.
Issues in the political, social, cultural and economic spheres were also discussed.
Among the objectives is to create a new economic and trade agenda to spur development between the two blocs.
ASPA was founded in May 2005 by former Brazilian president Luis Lula da Silva.
The participating South American countries besides Guyana and Suriname were Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Guyana was represented by Dr Frank Anthony, minister of youth culture and sports.
Arab countries participating were Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, UAE, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen, Comoros, Djibouti and Qatar.