Argentine president Mauricio Macri pledged full support for Mercosur which he defined as a 'long term strategic project', called for a quick trade agreement with the European Union and closer ties with 'our partners from the Pacific Alliance'.
Argentina's Falklands' claim and rejection of oil activities reiterated at the 'new' Mercosur summit
Mercosur full and associate members ended their Paraguay summit signing six joint statements, one of which in support of Argentina's sovereignty claim over the Falklands/Malvinas Islands and rejecting 'non authorized' hydrocarbons exploration in the Argentine continental shelf. This is the first regional document related to the Falkland Islands Argentine claim since Mauricio Macri took office last 10 December.
At a summit marked by strong differences between Argentina and Venezuela, Mercosur signed a statement in defense of the unrestricted support of human rights. Earlier in the day there was a serious exchange between Argentine president Mauricio Macri who demanded all political prisoners in Venezuela be set free, and president Nicolas Maduro foreign minister who replied that Macri was 'meddling' in Venezuela's affairs and was applying a 'double standard' on the issue.
Chile calls for a South American convergence; pledges to bring together Mercosur and Pacific Alliance
Chilean president Michelle Bachelet called for a convergence among governments of South America despite the political and ideological differences, and anticipated that Chile will strongly promote the rapprochement between Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance.
The Brazilian government has welcomed Argentina's realistic foreign exchange policy unifying the Argentine peso exchange rate, saying the latest economic measures taken by the Mauricio Macri administration will be “very positive” for the commercial relationship between the two countries.
Paraguay foreign minister Eladio Loizaga advanced some of the issues that will addressed on Monday's Mercosur presidential summit, when all of the members of the group's heads of state have confirmed their attendance, except Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro, plus leaders from associate members.
Mercosur members have identified over eighty non tariff barriers currently effective in intra-trade and have agreed on their gradual elimination, a proposal to be considered by the group's presidential summit when they meet Monday in Asuncion, Paraguay.
Aerolínas Argentinas magazine “Alta” has committed an 'un-excusable' blooper in its English edition. In effect, in a long article from the November edition, and praising Argentina's aeronautic and space industry, available in all Aerolíneas flights the Islas Malvinas are referred to as the Falkland Islands.
The presidents of Mercosur member-countries have confirmed attendance to the group's summit scheduled for next 21 December and hosted by Paraguay, the country that currently holds the rotating chair, according to diplomatic sources in Asuncion.
Mercosur is waiting for the European Union to decide when to begin the exchange of tariff-reduction proposals with the purpose of reaching an encompassing trade and cooperation agreement, despite France's objections to the move, said Rigoberto Gauto, Paraguay's deputy foreign minister. Paraguay currently holds the Mercosur chair and leads negotiations with Brussels.