President Alberto Fernández of Argentina will host his Uruguayan colleague Luis Lacalle Pou Friday at the Olivos residence, during which both heads of state are expected to discuss Mercosur issues and other matters concerning bilateral relations.
Fernández and Lacalle had met in Colonia, Uruguay, on November 19, 2020 and Friday's encounter is said to be a follow-up. According to the Argentine Government, it will be a meeting of friends to talk about a very broad common agenda.
Also present at the gatherwing will be Foreign Ministers Felipe Solá (Argentina) and Francisco Bustillo. They had been together with Fernández on July 28 in Lima for the inauguration of Peruvian President Pedro Castillo.
The Olivos meeting is expected to ease down tensions between the two presidents following July 8's virtual Mercosur summit during which Lacalle Pou requested that Fernández and the bloc allowed for individual negotiations by countries to expand their economies through unilateral trade agreements with other nations or blocs so that Mercosur does not become a burden, to which Fernández replied that we are nobody's burden.
Casa Rosada sources quoted Thursday by Argentine media said that the expectations for this meeting are the best,” because “when people see each other face to face, it is always better to agree” while and on social media it was “easier to fight.”
With Uruguay there is a very broad agenda, ranging from Mercosur and bilateral trade, to the question of the joint administration of the rivers (Uruguay and Paraná), the topic of tourism, the management of the coronavirus pandemic and vaccines are the most important topics of the conversations at the international level,” the sources added.
Both leaders are also expected to address the exodus of Argentines seeking a better life on the other side of the River Plate in addition to the many Uruguayans who already live in Argentina. These people as well as tourists need the borders to reopen at the earliest.
It will be Lacalle Pou's first trip to Buenos Aires as president of Uruguay.