President Tabare Vazquez confirmed on Monday that Uruguay will continue as “coordinator” of discussions between Mercosur and the European Union to reach a wide ranging trade agreement.
Negotiations for a trade and cooperation agreement between Mercosur and the European Union must continue and should not be overshadowed by political issues such as the impeachment process in Brazil, pointed out Paraguay's foreign minister Eladio Loizaga, following a motion by 15 Green Euro and United Left parliamentarians in Strasbourg to cancel discussions because of the corruption contaminated removal of Dilma Rousseff.
Paraguay said Mercosur will continue to function and is waiting for a reply from Uruguay to confirm a collegiate presidency of the block, until Argentina takes the helm at the end of the year. If not, Mercosur members are well aware that the the same way they decided to belong to the group, they can walk away...
Eight Paraguayan soldiers died on Saturday in a rural roadside explosion, followed by execution of survivors, 500 kilometers north of the capital Asunción, the government said, blaming it on a criminal group which identifies itself as the EPP, acronym for Paraguayan People's Army.
The foreign ministers of Mercosur founding members will adopt a common position regarding the current disarray of the group following on Venezuela's unilateral attitudes said Paraguayan economic affairs and integration deputy minister Rigoberto Gauto.
The Brazilian government said it was deeply disappointed and surprised at statements from Uruguay's foreign minister, which are not compatible with the excelence of relations between Brazil and Uruguay, according to an official release from Itamaraty, Brazil's foreign ministry, regarding the controversy over the Mercosur presidency.
Uruguay's Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa said on Monday that he was opposed to the proposal that the Mercosur presidency should be held collectively, as a number of countries are opposed to Venezuela taking over the role. The proposal has been sponsored by Paraguay and Brazil for several weeks, particularly Brazil's Foreign Minister Jose Serra.
The coordinators of Mercosur founding members will decide next 23 August at a meeting in Montevideo on the legal measures to be applied on Venezuela, which self proclaimed itself the presidency of the group and is also questioned for not complying with the rules and regulations to be incorporated to the group. In that case Venezuela could lose its full member status.
Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay are waiting to see what happens on Friday, 12 August, when Venezuela has to prove that it has complied with all the pending requirements to confirm its Mercosur full membership condition dating back to 2012.
Venezuela is not helping much to resolve the unprecedented situation of Mercosur, said Uruguay's foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa in reference to Venezuela's self proclaimed presidency of the group and which is rejected point blank by Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay who consider the post vacant.