September 16th, 2007 08:08 EST
Joint Statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Paraguay
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, paid an official visit to the Republic of Paraguay on September 13, 2007, at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of Paraguay.
Minister Lavrov was received by the President of the Republic of Paraguay, Nicanor Duarte Frutos, as also by the Presidents of both Chambers of the National Congress, Senator Miguel Abdon Saguier and Deputy Oscar Salomon.
At the Foreign Ministry, Lavrov’s talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, Ruben Ramirez Lezcano, took place, in which Jose Maria Ibanez, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, also took part. During the meeting, which passed in a friendly and constructive vein, the Ministers agreed as follows:
The international agenda
1. The Sides expressed satisfaction at the constructive nature of interaction between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Paraguay, agreed on the further coordination of their actions to promote Russian-Paraguayan political dialogue and cooperation and noted the strengthening of the historical bonds of friendship between the two countries, which has been conducive to the development of new forms of engagement based on the Joint Statement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Countries of the South American Common Market (MERCOSUR), Bolivia and Chile on Political Dialogue, of December 16, 2003.
In this connection the Ministers expressed satisfaction at the recent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Establishing a Mechanism of Political Dialogue and Cooperation Between the Russian Federation and the MERCOSUR Member and Associate States, of December 15, 2006, and expressed the desire to facilitate implementing the provisions of this document in every way.
2. The Ministers agreed to build up engagement on the international scene for strengthening multilateral and legal principles in world politics, bolstering the central coordinating role of the United Nations (UN) and its Security Council as a universal mechanism for the maintenance of international peace and security, ensuring the rule of law in international affairs, observing the regimes for the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and elimination of their stockpiles, and combining efforts in counteraction against the new threats, such as terrorism, illicit drug and arms trafficking, and transnational organized crime. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the ideals of freedom and democracy and spoke for creating a more equitable democratic world pattern based on the sovereign equality and consideration for the lawful interests of all states.
3. The Ministers agreed to continue contributing to the development of a multilateral format of dialogue on the reformation of the UN to bring it into conformity with the new political realities of our time, strengthening its interstate nature and achieving the broadest consensus among member states on all aspects of the reform, including enlarging the Security Council by inclusion of both developed and developing countries, taking into account balanced geographical representation.
4. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the full efficacy of fundamental human rights and freedoms, as well as strengthening of the universal mechanisms of their promotion and protection.
1. The Ministers reaffirmed the mutual desire to advance further in the development of relations in the spirit of the September 14, 2000, Treaty Between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Paraguay on Friendship, Trade and Cooperation. The first visit in the history of bilateral relations by a Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Paraguay, resumption of the work of the Embassy of the Republic of Paraguay in Moscow, the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation on the opening of an Embassy of Russia in Asuncion, as well as the interest in continuing negotiations on the conclusion of a Twinning Agreement Between the Government of Moscow and the Mayor’s Office of Asuncion are evidence of this.
2. Minister Ramirez expressed the readiness of the Paraguayan side to assist strengthening bilateral cooperation in the fields of science and technology, agriculture, public health, education, physical culture, sport, tourism and youth contacts.
3. The Ministers stressed that consistent actions to fight corruption, ensure the transparency in government and consolidate government institutions are the fundamental principles of deepening democracy and securing the effective participation of citizens in the fate of their countries.
4. The Ministers agreed to continue negotiations on elaborating the drafts of an Extradition Treaty, a Treaty on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and Underage Offenders and an Agreement on Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.
5. The Ministers agreed on the further coordination of actions by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries to advance Russian-Paraguayan political dialogue and cooperation on the basis of the November 20, 1995 Memorandum Between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay on Consultations.
6. In this connection Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov reconfirmed the invitation to Minister of Foreign Affairs Ruben Ramirez Lezcano to visit Russia in the near future. The invitation was accepted with gratitude. The date of the visit will be arranged via diplomatic channels.
7. The sides emphasized the growing cooperation between the legislative bodies of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Paraguay and noted the visit in February this year of a delegation of the Chamber of Deputies of the National Congress of Paraguay to Russia and the visit being prepared of a delegation of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to Paraguay, which make a contribution to strengthening the ties binding the two countries.
8. The Ministers expressed satisfaction at the signing of an Agreement on Cooperation Between the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Diplomatic and Consular Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay and of a Memorandum of Understanding Between the Ministry of Health and Social Development of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republic of Paraguay on Cooperation in the Field of Health and Medicine.
Trade Cooperation Matters
1. The Ministers spoke for increasing the volume of and diversifying bilateral trade in order to impart a more balanced character to the trade balance as well as for promoting and encouraging Russian investment in Paraguay.
2. Minister Lavrov expressed readiness to facilitate establishing direct contacts of the Paraguayan side with interested agencies of the Russian Federation with a view to arranging cooperation in oil and gas field development in the Republic of Paraguay.
3. Minister Ramirez Lezcano gave a high assessment to the efforts being made by the Russian Federation within the framework of the process of its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), and spoke for Russia’s soonest entry into this organization, which will help to strengthen the multilateral trade system.
4. In this connection Minister Ramirez Lezcano emphasized that the absence of a sea outlet in a country is an indisputable factor seriously hindering its economic growth and, consequently, development. In this context he noted the efforts of Paraguay concerning the special needs of landlocked developing countries, in particular with respect to transport, transit carriage, and trade and market access assistance.
5. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay especially highlighted the current situation in the field of the trade in Paraguayan meat products, for which the Russian market is the main export direction, which attests to the strong trade ties binding the two countries and is a sign of the high quality of Paraguayan farm produce.
Cultural Relations Matters
1. The Ministers emphasized the priority of the task of building up Russian-Paraguayan cooperation in the cultural sphere. They noted that at the base of these relations lie the close contacts between the two peoples in the past, including the contribution of Russian citizens to the culture, science, education as well as their service in the armed forces of Paraguay. They also spoke in favor of intensifying cultural dialogue by development of direct contacts between cultural institutions, creative associations and educational establishments, and by exchange of prominent Russian and Paraguayan musicians, ballet artists or choreographers.
2. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay noted that his Government attaches great importance to cultural cooperation as a foreign policy tool and as a mechanism facilitating the social development of the country. In this connection he referred to the December 7, 1998, Agreement on Cooperation in the Fields of Culture, Education, Science and Sport, and expressed the intention to impart impulse to this cooperation, primarily in the training of personnel for the Asuncion Symphony Orchestra and Municipal Theater.
3. For the purpose of developing favorable conditions for strengthening the relations of peace and friendship between the peoples, which receive further advancement thanks to cultural cooperation, Minister Ramirez handed over the draft of a Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Sports.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov thanked Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay Ruben Ramirez Lezcano for the hospitable and warm welcome accorded to him during the official visit to Paraguay and wished further prosperity to the Paraguayan people.
Signed at Asuncion on September 13, 2007.
Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
Ruben Ramirez Lezcano
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Paraguay