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Montevideo, March 26th 2023 - 14:23 UTC



Uruguay committed to Mercosur, but disputes persist

Thursday, December 14th 2006 - 20:00 UTC
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Uruguay's Foreign Affairs minister Reinaldo Gargano Uruguay's Foreign Affairs minister Reinaldo Gargano

Uruguay's Foreign Affairs minister Reinaldo Gargano said Uruguayan farmers are interested in remaining in Mercosur in spite of the growing difficulties to solve the asymmetries between big and small country members and bilateral disputes.

"There's a lot of people pointing to the mounting defects of Mercosur and another lot anticipating the death of the regional block, even when Mercosur takes 27% of our exports", said Gargano currently in Brasilia preparing for Friday's ministerial summit. "But just ask exporters from my country whether they can bear giving up a market that basically functions with zero tariff", he underlined. However Gargano anticipated for tomorrow Friday a strong presentation against Argentine pickets blocking access to bridges leading to Uruguay to protest the alleged future contamination of a pulp mill under construction on the Uruguayan side of a river that acts as a natural border to the two neighboring countries. Argentina has also announced it will not let the issue to be included in the ministerial summit or considered, since in Mercosur all resolutions are by consensus. "We're extremely concerned and wish for a definitive end to the dispute with Argentina regarding all the land blocking to which Uruguay is exposed and has a mounting negative effect for the economy", said Gargano. The high official added that next Monday/Tuesday Uruguay will be asking for cautionary measures before the International Court of The Hague requesting Argentina takes action against new pickets and blockades, "we're not talking of repression but simply prevention, before they happen". Besides, "blockades" are a violation of the Asunción Treaty, the founding chart of Mercosur, "which guarantees the free circulation of people and goods", indicated Gargano. Finally he said he hoped that on Friday Mercosur shows the political will to solve the ongoing economic disputes and "finds tariff mechanisms to help compensate asymmetries and other barriers which conspire against the free circulation of goods".

Categories: Politics, Mercosur.

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