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.
Mercosur summit delays and oil are two of the main issues the Paraguayan foreign minister Eladio Loizaga will address with his Venezuelan peer Elias Jaua, when he travels on Thursday to Caracas. Formally the event is a diplomatic reciprocity for Jaua's visit to Paraguay last 9 October, when the two countries re-established full relations.
Uruguay and Brazil could be prepared to go ahead with a 'two speed' trade negotiations between Mercosur and the European Union if the Argentine tariff proposal is not as ambitious as that from the rest of its members, according to Uruguayan diplomatic sources.
Mercosur pretends to increase its trade integration with members from the Pacific Alliance, said Brazilian foreign minister Luiz Alberto Figuereido. The top official made the statement this week before the Brazilian Senate foreign affairs committee.
A Mercosur technical committee will be meeting next week in Venezuela to elaborate the group's final tariffs reduction proposal to exchange with the European Union as part of the ongoing, but long delayed, negotiations to reach an ambitious free trade agreement, according to Brazil's foreign minister Luiz Alberto Figuereido.
Mercosur through its pro-tempore presidency under Venezuela is involved in a round of contacts to agree on the group's much delayed XLVI summit which has been postponed because of problems with 'presidents' agenda', revealed Paraguayan foreign minister Eladio Loizaga.
The Brazilian government is determined to advance with negotiations for a trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union even if it means leaving Argentina for a second phase of the process, according to sources from Itamaraty, the country's foreign ministry, reported in the Rio do Janeiro media.
By Tim Cole - This week the CELAC Summit will be held in Havana and the Cuban government will be in charge of finalizing the language in the Summit declarations. Inevitably there will be one on the Falkland Islands and I suspect it will ignore the referendum held on the Islands last year when 99.8% voted in favor of the Islands remaining an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom.