Uruguayan foreign minister Francisco Bustillo leaves this week for Spain the first of a round of European countries ahead of the coming Mercosur summit to be held next month, under the presidency of Uruguay. Finalizing the Mercosur/European Union trade agreement is the focus of the trip.
Bustillo is also expected to participate in the virtual summit of EU foreign ministers to be held in Andorra, November 30. The meeting comes ahead of the XXVIII Ibero-American Summit, which was scheduled for this year but because of the pandemic has been postponed until April 2021.
Uruguay is the current rotating chair of Mercosur since last July and will hand the post in December to Argentina. Uruguay together with Brazil and Paraguay are most interested in having the Mercosur/European Union free trade deal passed by the legislatives of both blocks.
Minister Bustillo from Spain flies to Moscow on December 2nd and then to Brussels until December 6th, before travelling to Paris. From France the minister is scheduled to spend a couple of days in Berlin, from where he will travel by train to Amsterdam. On his return to Montevideo, Bustillo will spend a few days in quarantine on time for the Mercosur presidential summit scheduled for mid December.
The Mercosur/EU trade deal is in the last phase of negotiations and Bustillo recently said at an EU investment forum held in Montevideo, that most countries agree and are willing to begin implementing the deal. However he admits some delays.
Mercosur and the European Union must concentrate all efforts in rounding up some of the issues still pending, but given the significance of the accord and thinking in the international credibility of both blocks, it is pressing to have it approved by member countries. However said this, Uruguay is most respectful of the domestic debates regarding the deal, but again time is pressing.