Chilean Foreign Affairs Minister Heraldo Munoz called for closer ties between Latin America's two leading trade blocs. Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance should work more closely together, Munoz told the 51st Mercosur and associate members summit held this week in Brasilia.
Argentine president Mauricio Macri in Brasilia expressed full solidarity with the Venezuelan people, called for human rights respect and freedom for the political prisoners held by the regime of president Nicolas Maduro.
The latest Mercosur summit, held last week in Brazil included a special statement, --besides the main regular declaration with 69 articles--, blasting the UK for violating international law and Argentine domestic law over the exploration of hydrocarbons in the Argentine continental shelf in proximity of the Malvinas Islands.
Mercosur agreed at the Brasilia summit that in the second half of the year they will address alternatives for the elimination of tariff and other similar barriers that impede the natural flow of trade of goods and services among its members. The initiative was agreed by Common Market Council, CMC, on the first day of deliberations and confirmed on Friday by the presidents of the group's full members.
In what can be considered her last speech before a Mercosur summit, Argentine president Cristina Fernandez, who is stepping down next December, hailed what she called the “magnitude of the importance of integration” in South America with the inclusion of both Venezuela and Bolivia showing the “success and the resounding failure for those who forecasted for years that the Mercosur was going to fail.”
Uruguay is attending the Mercosur summit in Brazil hoping the group implements deep changes, particularly referred to the free circulation of goods, services and production factors, and considers a six month period should be sufficient trial for the changes to become effective.
Paraguay is committed to return Mercosur to 'its roots', reach an agreement on some of the original fundamentals, eliminate restrictions to inter-trade and strongly promote the trade accord with the European Union. This is scheduled to take place in the coming six months once Paraguay is handed Mercosur' chair at the group's midyear presidential summit that begins on Thursday in Brasilia.
Bolivia's incorporation as a full member of Mercosur will be addressed as of Thursday in Brasilia at the group's two-day presidential summit, an issue which could be completed by the first half of next year, despite some warnings from Bolivia's private sector.
Mercosur will be holding its half year presidential summit in Brasilia next Thursday and Friday, an event which will expose an abundance of trade and political conflicts, discrepancies and recurrent challenges despite all its members commitment to integration. Besides full members, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Venezuela and Brazil, leaders from Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Guyana and Surinam have also been announced.
Guyanese President David Granger and Foreign Minister Carl Greenidge plan to attend the biannual Mercosur summit in Brasilia later this next, a Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed to the Spanish news agency EFE.