Australian Foreign Secretary Kevin Rudd will be present at the two-day Mercosur summit which begins Thursday in Foz de Iguazu. Rudd met on Wednesday with his Brazilian peer Celso Amorim ahead of the summit and in the framework of the “Australia-Brazil Dialogue” created last September.
During the first meeting of the “dialogue” Amorim and Rudd addressed bilateral, regional and multilateral issues, according to Brazilian diplomatic sources adding that the Australian official was very much interested in meeting Mercosur and associate members’ presidents at the summit.
Ambassador Antonio Patriota who was officially named as Brazil’s next Foreign Affairs minister by president elect Dilma Rousseff also participated of the bilateral meeting.
The ‘dialogue’ mechanism stipulates that ministers “can address concrete bilateral cooperation initiatives, even trilateral, to favour developing countries as well as explore means and ways to expand trade and investments”.
Rudd on Thursday will be present at the discussions of the expanded Common Market Council and the following day as a special guest of the presidential summit.
Besides President Lula da Silva who is hosting the meeting, other leaders include Argentina’ Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo, Uruguay’s Jose Mujica as well as associate members Chilean president Sebastian Piñera and Bolivia’s Evo Morales.
Besides Rudd other guests include the presidents of Guyana, Bharrat Jagdeo and Surinam, Desiré Bouterse and ministers from Turkey, Palestine, Syria and United Arab Emirates.
The Foz de Iguazú Mercosur summit has become a very special event since it will be the farewell of President Lula da Silva who is stepping down next January first after eight years in office.