Colombian president welcomes appointment of new Unasur secretary general

23:40, March 12, 2011      

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Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos welcomed on Friday the appointment of Maria Emma Mejia as secretary general of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).

Mejia, a former Colombian Foreign Minister, and former Venezuelan Electricity Minister Ali Rodriguez would each hold the post for one year.

The position had been left vacant since the death of former Argentine president Nestor Kirchner on Oct. 27, 2010. Kirchner was elected in May to a two-year term as secretary general of the regional body created in 2008.

Mejia and Rodriguez were the strongest candidates for the job in an election held on Friday among foreign ministers of Unasure members in Quito, capital of Ecuador.

Mejia will assume office in April, while Rodriguez will take up the post in 2012.

"This is good for Colombia and for Unasur, at a time when Unasur is taking an important role throughout the hemisphere's politics," Santos said.

Santos hoped Unasur would play an increasingly larger role in development, the fight against poverty and job creation.

Santos also praised Kirchner's role as secretary general of Unasur in mediating between Colombia and Venezuela involved in a diplomatic row last year.

Source: Xinhua

 
 
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