Argentina and Portugal foreign ministers agreed on a fluid dialogue and standing contact during the next six months to address bilateral issues, the Mercosur/European Union trade deal and the Falklands/Malvinas question.
Felipe Solá and Augusto Santos held a meeting on Friday ahead of the first half of next year when Argentina will be holding the pro tempore chair of Mercosur while Portugal will be presiding over the European Council.
A release from the Argentine foreign ministry said the ministers agreed on a fluid dialogue to closely monitor events in the two regional blocks plus prospects and challenges for each of the two countries as they exercise their respective responsibilities.
Solá said Argentina wants a greater trade and physical integration of Mercosur, which also includes Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and aspires to the incorporation of Bolivia.
Regarding the Mercosur/EU trade accord, Solá underlined we have a favorable vision despite the implicit risks, but looking to the future with prospects of improving economic conditions, according to the release.
More specifically on the Falklands question, and Argentina's claim over the Islands, Solá requested that in negotiations for a post-Brexit agreement between UK and the EU, Malvinas are considered a litigation zone and not a British Overseas Territory. This has been the new Argentine government policy which it has repeatedly displayed to European ministers and ambassadors in Buenos Aires.
Regarding bilateral relations the ministers agreed in the need to increase and diversify trade, currently favorable to Argentina, but with sufficient opportunities of exploring and expanding into new areas.
Finally the foreign ministers recalled that Argentina/Portugal relations date back to 1821. Lisbon was the first to recognize Argentine independence, and thus next year, if the pandemic is not an obstacle, the two countries have agreed on an agenda of tentative celebrations.