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Apology and handshakes at Peru summit

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Apology and handshakes at Peru summit


The Latin American-European Union summit in Peru has yielded few concrete measures, but some of the leaders from the fifty nations present have used the occasion to improve relations.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez apologised to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for his earlier comments that the political right backing her was “the same movement that supported Hitler”.

EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso praised the meeting’s focus, saying: “It was a good idea to choose themes such as the fight against poverty and the fight for the environment and against climate change.”

There was broad support for initiatives combating global warming, but the leaders struggled to agree on trade. Some favoured free trade deals with Europe, but Bolivian President Evo Morales feared they would cause the poor to suffer.

Europeans also played down the risks of biofuels after some Latin Americans warned they could cause a global food shortage.

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