Argentine ambassador in Brazil, Daniel Scioli, has confirmed what was advanced by Uruguayan president Luis Lacalle Pou during this week's meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro, a meeting of Mercosur heads of state, sometime at the end of March. The summit will coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the trade block, which also includes Argentina and Paraguay.
Ambassador Scioli confirmed to the Argentine media that the Mercosur family picture will take place on 26 March, most probably in Foz do Iguazú, the majestic waterfalls shared by Argentina and Brazil.
I have Bolsonaro's word that he is willing to attend the meeting, I have his commitment. Argentine president Alberto Fernandez currently holds the Mercosur rotating chair and he is organizing a meeting on the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of Mercosur. It will be on 26 March, and most significant, since beyond ideologies there are standing interests, the get together should help clear uncertainty and bring a new collaboration spirit, said the Argentine ambassador.
Scioli said that Argentina and Brazil need to deepen relations at the maximum level since there are many infrastructure, energy, science and technology areas both countries need to address. He added that Mercosur is most important overall and Argentina and Brazil have a central responsibility in ensuring it works, and advances.
If the meeting finally happens it will in effect be a great regional success. In effect Conservative Bolsonaro referred on several times to the Argentine bandits and crooks, who make up the government of Cristina Fernandez and her chosen puppet, Alberto Fernandez The Brazilian president compared Cristina and Alberto with the Brazilian ex presidents, Dilma Rousseff, impeached and forced to resign, and the popular Lula da Silva who ended in jail on corruption charges.
Furthermore Alberto Fernandez while on the campaign trail visited Lula da Silva in jail, an inspiration for all the progressive forces in Latin America that have done so much for the poor and needy. This obviously infuriated Bolsonaro, who again came out with a barrage of coarse expressions towards the Argentine candidate and his corrupt mentor Cristina. The Brazilian president was also openly in support of conservative leaders Mauricio Macri, running for reelection, and who finally lost to Alberto Fernandez.
But since then pragmatism has started to prevail, not only because of ambassador Scioli, but also since Brazil is the main trade market for Argentine exports, and the two leading Mercosur economies have long established close and integrated links in several industries.
Anyhow the two countries have different political allies. Argentina is more tolerant towards the Venezuelan dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro, and Cuba, and other left wing regimes or ex left leaning populist leaders in Latin America, while Bolsonaro was long described as the tropics Trump.
And most important, the Mercosur/European Union deal, except for Argentina which describes it as moving too fast and would like a review, the other three members are demanding its quick approval and promulgation. Besides headed by Brazil, and again with the exception of more unorthodox Argentina, Mercosur members want a more flexible organization, to enable agreements with third parties, without the need of an unanimous vote from the block, in effect an Argentine veto resource.