Argentine president Alberto Fernandez held a very positive phone conversation on Wednesday with Uruguayan president-elect Luis Lacalle Pou during which they analyzed the bilateral relation and the regional integration agenda.
It was also agreed that the following week the two presidents could finally meet, since the Argentine leader will not be able to attend the Sunday March first inauguration of Lacalle Pou in Montevideo. On that same day Fernandez must open the Congressional session and address the Argentine Legislative.
Anyhow it was agreed that foreign minister Felipe Solá and Argentine ambassador in Uruguay Alberto Iribarne will represent Argentina at Sunday's inauguration.
President Fernandez admitted he is a close friend of the Lacalle family, and would have liked very much to attend the inauguration of Lacalle Pou. In effect Alberto Fernandez is an old friend of Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera who was Uruguayan president 1990/95.
”I know (president elect) Luis because of my close relationship with Cuqui and Julita (the parents of the president elect). We've met several times in Uruguay and in Spain, Fernandez mentioned.
Although it must also be added that Fernandez and his partner mentor and vice president Cristina Kirchner actually openly supported incumbent candidate Daniel Martinez, Lacalle Pou's rival in the Uruguayan presidential election November runoff.
This was because Cristina Kirchner, favored the Uruguayan progressive government candidate, and Lacalle Pou is considered a right wing conservative.
Nevertheless following Lacalle Pou's victory last November, Argentine president Fernandez congratulated him, extended his best wishes and said he hoped both our countries can keep working together for our peoples and regional integration
He added, we have the great challenge of strengthening democracy and ending with inequality in our continent”.
According to Uruguayan diplomatic sources four South American countries will be attending next Sunday's ceremony, from Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Paraguay.
The US delegation will be headed by Andrew R. Wheeler, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency plus Ambassador Kenneth S. George, Mauricio Claver-Carone, Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, National Security Council, and Michael G. Kozak, Acting Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State.