The High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini who visited Argentina on Monday praised the rapid progress made in negotiations on a renewed EU/Mercosur trade agreement and was confident remaining obstacles could be overcomes and a deal can be reached by the end of the year.
Bilateral political and economic relations, as well as support to regional integration and to multilateralism were at the core of Ms Mogherini second visit to Argentina, where she met in Buenos Aires with President Mauricio Macri and Foreign Affairs minister, Susana Malcorra.
The European Union and Argentina are strong partners in promoting multilateralism in the current international context, a rules-based world order, human rights and fundamental freedoms, the implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change, as well as free and fair trade. The meetings reconfirmed their shared commitment to the UN system to ensure peace, security and sustainable development.
Mogherini stressed with both interlocutors that Argentina can count on the European Union's support during its G20 presidency next year and in preparation of the WTO ministerial meeting in December.
During the meetings, developments in Latin America were addressed. On Venezuela, Mogherini reaffirmed the EU's support to regional initiatives and appreciated Argentina's engagement to stop the violence, foster political dialogue and promote reconciliation among Venezuelans, in compliance with the constitutional norms and democratic procedures.
Mogherini praised Argentina as the pro tempore Mercosur presidency, in particular in advancing negotiations on a new EU-Mercosur trade agreement. Rapid and good progress has been made so far, and both sides agreed to maintain their focus on shared objectives so as to overcome any remaining obstacles and to reach a deal by the end of the year.
Mogherini used the opportunity to congratulate Minister for Foreign Affairs Malcorra on her new position and thanked her for her personal friendship and excellent cooperation since December 2015, which has boosted both bilateral and inter-regional relations with the EU. The EU congratulates newly nominated Foreign Minister of Argentina, Jorge Faurie and looks forward to continuing the close partnership.
The High Representative also had informal exchanges with Senate Provisional President, Federico Pinedo, Vice Foreign Minister, Pedro Villagra and members of the Argentine Foreign Policy think tank CARI, presided by ex Foreign Minister Adalberto Rodriguez Giavarini.
Before leaving for Chile, Mogherini had a meeting with EU Member States ambassadors' at the EU Delegation.
During her visit to Chile on Tuesday, the High Representative will meet President Michelle Bachelet, Minister of Foreign Affairs Heraldo Muñoz and the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean Alicia Bárcena.
This visit comes ahead of the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, which will take place in El Salvador in October 2017.