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Latin America no longer US backyard: Envoy

Madrid, July 23, Latin America and countries in the region, in the face of stances and approaches assumed by the US President Donald Trump, no longer tend to be considered Washington's backyard, says the Iranian envoy to Mexico.

The move by the US Secretary of State not to attend in the General Assembly meeting of the Organization of American States and the presence of his deputy John Sullivan in the event instead, was under the spotlight and in fact it happened to convey a message, said the Iranian Ambassador to Mexico Mohammad Taghi Hosseini.

The 47th General Assembly of Organization of American States (OAS) was held in Mexico, 19-21 June 2017, with the main theme of Strengthening dialogue and concentration for prosperity.

Participation of John Joseph Sullivan, the US Deputy Secretary of State, in the Assembly and the absence of the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson caused high speculations.

They blamed Tillerson's absence on his engagement with the new crisis in the Persian Gulf between Qatar and its Arab neighbors and that he has dedicated itself to addressing the issue exercising extensive diplomacy, Hosseini said.

But many analysts remained to be against the hypothesis, arguing that his absence was based upon the fact that under Trump Latin America is no longer a priority in the US policy agenda, he added.

Trump's election has greatly affected Mexico in different realms, including the state of Mexican migrants in the United States, Washington's revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and the plan by the US to build a border wall between the two countries, the Iranian ambassador to Mexico said, referring to Trump's approaches, following taking office, towards the US southern neighbor, a move that cast uncertainty over the future of bilateral ties between the US and Mexico.

Hosseini also stressed that the US administration's behavior and discourse toward Mexicans are contemptuous.

He also talked about the crisis in Venezuela and pointed out that in the meeting of OAS General Assembly, members emphasized finding a solution through promoting negotiations, to the ongoing crisis in Venezuela.

The right wing Latin American groups were of the view that the Organization should try to deal with the crisis in Venezuela and work toward restoration of democracy and human rights in the country, he said, adding that, but on the other hand, the left-wing countries of the Continent argued that there's a need to help Venezuelans solve the crisis through talks, Hosseini said.

The Iranian ambassador also said that the created rift in the 47th General Assembly of OAS over how Venezuela's crisis should be addressed indicates new political and economic conditions in the Continent which are partly the consequences of Trump's presidency.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

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