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|Saturday, May 06, 2000, updated at 11:01(GMT+8)|
Rio Group to Get Closer to China, Russia: Colombian PresidentRio Group will get closer this year to two of the biggest and most important countries of the planet: China and Russia, said Friday Colombian President Andres Pastrana.
Pastrana said on occasion of the dinner offered to the foreign ministers holding now the 19th Rio Group Foreign Ministers Meeting, that he is going to promote a bigger rapprochement of the Group with China and the Russian Federation.
"We will promote for this the holding of a meeting of vice foreign ministers with the Russian Federation, as well as a meeting of the group's troika (Mexico, Colombia, and Chile) with the Chinese government," he said.
The head of the Colombian state underscored in his speech the importance of the group that represents 19 countries that occupy more than 20 million square kilometers and that hold close to 500 million people of the planet.
Pastrana said that in his opinion, cooperation and frank communication between the member countries are important to try to unify the points of view on themes of common interests, which are fundamental in the agenda of the new century.
The 19th Rio Group Foreign Ministers Meeting, attended by 19 member countries, was opened Friday morning in the Palace of San Carlos, the Colombian Foreign Ministry's headquarters.
This is the first meeting of the Rio Group after its expansion with the Central American countries and the Dominican Republic.
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