Lula will meet behind closed doors with the president of Uruguay in the face of pressure to make Mercosur more flexible
The Brazilian president will also hold a meeting with former president José Mujica, seeking to give support to the local left
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Lula Da Silva will meet behind closed doors with the president of Uruguay in the face of pressure to make Mercosur more flexible. (REUTERS)
With the Celac Summitas a prelude and immersed in tension with its neighbors and partners of Mercosur for rebelling and advancing in a bilateral treaty with China, the president of Uruguay , Luis Lacalle Pou, will receive his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in Montevideo this Wednesday.
The successor to Jair Bolsonaro, who traveled to the Argentine capital on Monday to meet with its president, Alberto Fernández, and participate in the VII Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), will begin its visit to Uruguay with a closed-door meeting at the Suárez y Reyes presidential residence.
In this instance, the Brazilian is expected to talk with a Lacalle Pou who has not given in to pressure against his desire to “make more flexible” the Mercosur rules to “open up to the world”.
Although Lacalle Pou has been explicit in his criticism of the functioning of Mercosur, which, he said, should be “a springboard” to the world “and not a corset or a ballast”, it was his progress towards a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China that ended up sowing the discord with its partners.
Last December, days before the last Summit of Heads of State of the South American bloc, the three partners issued a warning to Uruguay – which, far from stopping negotiations with China, also expressed its desire to adhere to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – for retaliatory measures.
However, the position of the center-right president remained unchanged, to which he reiterated at that summit that Uruguay “needs and has the vocation to open up to the world”, an initiative that you would like to share with the neighbors when “they are determined and ready for it”.
The successor to Jair Bolsonaro, who traveled to the Argentine capital on Monday to meet with its president, Alberto Fernández, and to participate in the VII Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), will begin his visit to Uruguay with a closed-door meeting at the presidential residence of Suárez and Reyes. (REUTERS)
“Let's move forward, Uruguay is doing it. In time, he will look to the sides and tell the countries: let's all move forward together,” he said.
Lacalle Pou, who greeted Lula's election with a message in which he said ” trust” in being able to work with him “for a modern Mercosur open to the world” told the press that this will be the position at the meeting on Wednesday.
“We are going to insist that Uruguay has to open up to the world. And it's not capricious, it's because we have faith in each other”, remarked the person who attended the investiture of the Brazilian with former presidents Julio María Sanguinetti (1985-1990 and 1995-2000) and José Mujica (2010-2015), at which the latter, a left-wing reference close to Lula, made himself available to the center-right to mediate if necessary.
As expressed last Friday by the secretary of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry for the Americas, Michel Arslanian, Lula's Brazil “understands” Uruguay's interest in expanding its markets and the recognition of that country as a relevant player in the bloc.
Regarding the discontent caused by the decision of Uruguay to negotiate with China, said that the differences should be addressed with “dialogue and the search for common ground”.
Meanwhile, in an interview published on Sunday by the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, the Brazilian foreign minister, Mauro Vieira, insinuated from a technical point of view that an FTA between Uruguay and China with tariffs lower than the common external tariff of Mercosur could mean the end of the South American bloc.
The Brazilian president will also hold a meeting with the former President José Mujica, seeking to give a boost to the local left. (EFE)
On the other hand, the Brazilian Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, insisted this Tuesday on the need to “strengthen Mercosur” against possible agreements outside the bloc such as the one with Uruguay and assured that its president will discuss this with Lacalle Pou.
“Lula da Silva will take a message to the Uruguayan president in the same direction as the strengthening of the bloc that allows our region to grow more strongly”, he wielded.
After meeting with Lacalle Pou, Lula will receive recognition for his contribution to the environment from the Municipality of Montevideo and will later meet Mujica at his farm, on the outskirts of the capital.
(With information from EFE)