Brazil would like free-trade talks between the European Union and Mercosur to include Argentina, but would be prepared to proceed without its regional ally if an understanding can't be reached on March 7, according to the head of Brazil's farming confederation.
Paraguay will hold the following rotating chair of Mercosur, (if the group's summit to be hosted by Venezuela and which has been delayed on several occasions really takes place). The announcement was made by Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff during her visit on Monday to Brussels for the Brazil/EU summit, who underlined that Brazil supports dialogue as the way out to the current situation in Venezuela.
Trade negotiations between the European Union and Mercosur could move quickly once a technical meeting next month has taken place, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said after a meeting on Monday with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brussels and the European Council president Herman Van Rompuy.
The Mercosur summit is still scheduled for March but given the current situation in Venezuela, host of the event, there could be another delay admitted Paraguay's Foreign minister Eladio Loizaga, who added that there are permanent contacts between members countries to try and avoid another scenario.
In early March Mercosur will have readied its proposal to liberate trade to be presented to the European Union, the basis for a wide-ranging cooperation and trade agreement between the two blocks, announced Rubens Barbosa, head of the Trade Council from the Sao Paulo State Industries Federation, FIESP.
Brazilian and UK foreign ministers Luiz Alberto Figuereido and William Hague said that Mercosur and the European Union are concluding the tariffs' reduction proposals which they plan to exchange as part of the process leading to a wide ranging cooperation and trade agreement between the two blocks.
Brazil's National Confederation of Industries, CNI, supports a review of Mercosur rules such as the current impediment for member countries to negotiate trade agreements with third countries, and fervently backs an urgent full trade and cooperation agreement with the European Union.
Mercosur country members, in an official release rejected all acts of violence and condemned the destabilization attempts against the government of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro.
In what was described as a shameful incident, Brazil had to retract from statements made by one of its diplomats, a condition demanded by Argentina to continue negotiations for a Mercosur common tariffs reduction proposal which was taking place in Caracas. The incident occurred last week but only came to light over the weekend.
The much delayed Mercosur summit, originally scheduled for last December could take place in March, according to Paraguay's foreign minister Eladio Loizaga who this week visited his Venezuelan peer Elías Jaua. Venezuela currently holds the Mercosur rotating chair and will be hosting the event when (and if) it finally takes place.