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Arab and South American leaders have met in Brasilia for the first ever Arab-South American summit. Topics of discussion include strengthening trade and economic ties between the two regions. While one would hope that building economic and trade ties between developing countries would be a good thing, it seems the US and Israel are a bit worried over the meeting. And possibly with good reason, other topics of discussion include condemnation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine as well as the US unilateral sanctions against Syria. The US was denied an observer to the summit meeting and most of the countries there seem to take a hard line against Bush's policies.


The main success of the summit is the PetroSul agreement, which creates a continental oil major composed by Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. One can't help but notice that South America and the Middle East account for almost a third of the world's oil production and so cooperation between the two regions is probably something for the US to take note of.

Questions of debate:

1.) Is this meeting something the US and Israel should be worried about? Why or why not?

3.) Was it a good idea for Bush to urge the more pro-US countries of Egypt, Jordan and Morocco not to attend? Why or Why not?

3.) Could strong ties between South America and the Middle East provide a substantial "voice of opposition" to the United States' policies? Why or Why not?

4.) What impact would a cooperative South America and Middle East have on the Oil industry?



Additional resources:

Aljazeera

South American, Arab leaders hold summit; U.S. denied entry

Summit website (same as one linked in first line)
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