The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) believes that the return to Cuba of territory occupied by the U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo is an essential element to the process underway to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States, according to a statement from the organization’s 8th

Meeting of National Coordinators held in Quito, Ecuador, August 26-28. The Cuban delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno.

The full text approved states:

The Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC),

Reiterating its commitment to multilateralism, to the principles established in the United Nations Charter and international law, including the sovereign equality and territorial integrity of states,

Reaffirming the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, approved at its 2nd Summit in Havana, January 29, 2014,

Conscious of the existence, for more than a century, of the United States Naval Base in Guantánamo, within the Republic of Cuba’s territory,

Acting in light of the process underway directed toward the normalization of relations between the Republic of Cuba and the United States of America, which should be a factor contributing to stability in Latin America and the Caribbean,

Believes that the return of territory occupied by theUnited States Naval Base in Guantánamoto the Republic of Cuba must be an important component of this process, based on a bilateral dialogue which adheres to international law.