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Montevideo, May 24th 2024 - 19:25 UTC



Paraguayan FM to broker gradual reopening of Argentine borders later this week

Wednesday, August 18th 2021 - 08:00 UTC
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Acevedo is confident due to the noticeable decrease in coronavirus infections Acevedo is confident due to the noticeable decrease in coronavirus infections

Paraguay's Foreign Minister Euclides Acevedo is to travel to Buenos Aires this coming Thursday to discuss with local authorities the reopening of land borders with Argentina which have been closed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acevedo is to meet with federal and provincial authorities about the possible reopening of borders with Argentina. Since their closure, informal economic activities in the region have surged, which have deprived local and national administrations of significant flows of resources in the form of taxes.

Read also: Borders are closed but illegal crossing between Paraguay and Argentina is easier than ever — MercoPress

“I am going to Buenos Aires to negotiate with the central authorities and then with the provincial ones the opening of the borders since Argentina and particularly the province of Misiones decided to open up with Brazil,” Acevedo said Tuesday in a radio interview.

Acevedo said he was confident about his chances of success due to the noticeable decrease in coronavirus infections and deaths in Paraguay, which should allow him to negotiate on the setting of a sanitary and commercial protocol for the gradual opening of the borders.

The Foreign Minister also hoped similar agreements could be reached with the Argentine province of Formosa, which has been one of the strictest enforcers of anti-COVID-19 restrictions with harsh lockdowns and arrests of people in breach of the measures.

Regarding Uruguay, Acevedo admitted conversations with his colleague Francisco Bustillo were progressing well. “We are to expand not only the borders but also trying to join the new technological world of transoceanic optical fibres,” Acevedo said.

Regarding the alleged refusal of the governor of the Argentine province of Misiones to reopen the border, Acevedo acknowledged he had heard several versions and that he preferred to address the issue personally.

Acevedo also underscored the importance of reopening the borders to the country's economy. “We are killing managers of the Paraguayan economy who are border traders. I am concerned about Falcón, Nanawa, Puerto Elsa, Pilar and also Encarnación,” he explained.

The minister also addressed a possible purchase of two million vaccines from the United States by 2022 as well as the likely arrival of a donation from that country or from elsewhere.

“I also want to appeal to other North American countries that would be in a position to cooperate intelligently, so that we can really strongly fight the epidemic and if there is a new regrowth (of COVID-19) take all the necessary precautions and sanitary shields,” he said.

Categories: Politics, Argentina, Paraguay.

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