Guatemala signs MOU with the European Union to strengthen ties

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By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

The European Union (EU) and Guatemala signed on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding on bilateral consultations that will strengthen relations between the two sides, during a ceremony in Brussels in the presence of Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo de León.

The document was signed by the EU’s high representative for foreign and security policy, Josep Borrell, and Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Carlos Ramiro Martínez Alvarado, and aims to promote a structured dialogue on a multitude of issues, from green transition to trade and investment.

“With this memorandum of understanding we demonstrate a clear and firm will to strengthen our bilateral relations, establishing a bilateral, open and structured dialogue, as the EU does with all the partners with whom it wants to have a privileged network,” Borrell said after signing the agreement.

The head of Community diplomacy, who held a meeting with Arévalo after the ceremony, recalled that when he attended his investiture on 14 January he already spoke with him about this memorandum and about how relations between the EU and Guatemala should flourish and develop – when he became president.

It was not any inauguration, but it was transcendental, because the will of Guatemalans could be brought to a good end and it is now a great pleasure to receive it in Brussels, said the Spanish politician.

IN THIS MOMENTO

Borrell stressed that his visit at the time was a sign of the commitment of the EU and its member states to the people of Guatemala and the “firm support for the president who was elected in the polls, now in office.”

The high representative said that EU support has been coherent from the outset – and that the electoral mission he sent to the presidential elections in Guatemala was able to see that they had occurred – in a good way.

In addition, he referred to the sanctions imposed by the EU on Guatemala’s Attorney General, Consuelo Porras Argueta, and four others for their attempts to prevent the takeover of Arévalo.

“We are concerned not only about what is happening in Ukraine, the Middle East or our immediate neighbourhood, but also how democracy, the rule of law, are preserved in countries like Guatemala, which are further geographically but very close, politically, culturally, historically, to us,” he said.

For his part, Martínez stressed that the memorandum signed today will not only strengthen the bilateral relationship with the systematization of dialogue, but will also be a very important platform to develop a concrete long-term agenda based on shared values.

He stated that this bilateral agenda covers a wide range of issues ranging from trade and investment to development cooperation, the promotion of human rights, culture and education.

“We have great opportunities for working together with the EU to continue to strengthen our ties in areas such as development projects under the Global Gateway initiative, the EU’s global investment programme,” said the minister, as well as on the security agenda within the framework of the PAcTO and Guatemala’s accession to the Latin American Security Council CLASI, something he hopes the country will do in the coming days.

He also highlighted the opportunities for cooperation that open up to strengthening bilateral dialogue within the framework of the European Union’s digital partnership.

“We hope very soon to hold the first high-level meeting of the bilateral consultation mechanism,” Martinez concluded.

Borrell stressed that we have many challenges beyond good governance and the rule of law.

Do I know how you intend to carry out that struggle for social justice in a country with enormous inequalities. Sustainable development, which aessel the increase in material well-being in the defense of environmental balances, Borrell told Arévalo, while commending measures that the country is already taking in favor of the environment.

He recalled that during his visit to Guatemala he announced the investment of 50 million euros from the EU in the department of Petén, and advanced that the services of the European Commission will travel to the country in March to address Global Gateway projects.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Prensa Libre