President Cristina Fernández was present on Sunday in the Paraguayan capital, Asunción to hear Pope Francis give mass during his visit, and greeted the Argentine citizens who had travelled to see the leader of the Catholic church. The head of state left the open mass at around midday, handing Francis a gift before retiring after witnessing the ceremony with Paraguayan counterpart Horacio Cartés.
Pope Francis urged Paraguay to consolidate democracy and end corruption and drug trafficking, after receiving a colorful welcome on Friday at the start of the last leg of his eight-day South American tour.
Mercosur, ports, energy, trade are among the issues in the agenda that Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes will consider with his counterpart Tabare Vazquez when he makes a one day visit on Thursday to Montevideo, according to the Uruguayan ambassador in Asunción Federico Perazza, ahead of the meeting.
Uruguayan president Tabare Vazquez said that Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay are ready to sign the long delayed trade and cooperation agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. Such an agreement has become one of the cornerstones of Vazquez presidency faced with falling exports and limited markets.
Paraguay believes in a 'single speed' approach to negotiations for a trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union, but discussions must be more dynamic and wide ranging, said the country's president Horacio Cartes, currently visiting Spain.
Uruguay will be hosting Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes in early June when he is expected to confirm' his country's support to Uruguay and Brazil in their renewed approach to accelerate negotiations for the signing of a full cooperation and free trade agreement with the European Union, which were started fifteen years ago.
For a third year in a row the United States will be the top wheat supplier for Brazil, displacing Argentina from its historic position, according to the latest release from Brazilian consultancy Trigo & Farinhas. This piece of information is significant given the world prices for grains and wheat planting prospects in South America.
Paraguay's foreign affairs minister Eladio Loizaga admitted in Madrid that Mercosur could consider the possibility of a two-speed system in trade and cooperation negotiations with the European Union. The minister was the main speaker at the event organized by Casa de America and the Spanish government news agency EFE.
Uruguay again complained about the current stalled situation of Mercosur and called for members to 'sincere' themselves regarding the compliance of the original 1991 founding charter, and hopefully we can at least reach the first stage of the chronogram: a free trade zone which effectively works and has not to bear the brunt of hurdles.
Following on the lead of Uruguay's new government, Paraguay has also demanded Mercosur returns to its roots and original objective with free circulation of goods and no obstructions of any kind or impediments such as tariff barriers. The five countries group has been paralyzed and negotiations for an encompassing cooperation and trade agreement with the European Union remain stalled.