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2nd Africa-S. America Summit begins in Venezuela
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The second Africa-South America Summit (ASA) began on Saturday in Porlamar, northwestern Venezuela, with the participation of more than 20 heads of State and Government from South America and Africa.

"You know you that Margarita island is the first free territory of Venezuela," said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in his speech to inaugurate the meeting with the aim to highlight the efforts of South America and Africa to rescue their sovereignty.

The Venezuelan leader stressed particularly the need to streamline existing ASA machinery since the first Summit, held in 2006 in Abuja (Nigeria), suggesting to create a round-table of presidents and their advisers to dedicate exclusively to designing a strategic agenda for the ASA regions.

"We must give strategic vision and feasibility to the idea of integrating South America and Africa with the structuring and implementation of a working agenda for the years 2010-2020," he said.

The second ASA summit, with the theme "Closing the gap, opening up opportunities," is being held in Porlamar, a city on the resort island of Margarita.

Seven leaders from South America and 15 from Africa are taking part in the summit.

(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2009)

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