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Paraguayan Chancellor waiting for after Argentine PASO elections to discuss reopening borders

Saturday, September 4th 2021 - 08:49 UTC
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Vaccination not necessary yet, but may be within a future protocol, Acevedo admitted Vaccination not necessary yet, but may be within a future protocol, Acevedo admitted

Paraguay's Foreign Minister Euclides Acevedo Friday insisted on discussing the reopening of the land borders with Argentina right after the Sept. 12 Open Primary, Simultaneous and Mandatory (PASO) elections.

Acevedo also asked that commercial issues and contact with the productive forces in bordering areas be taken into account.

“I am waiting for some electoral issues to go by in Argentina to have contact with the governors of Misiones and Formosa,” Oscar Herrera Ahuad and Gildo Insfrán, respectively, Acevedo explained.

The minister also announced he would be meeting with traders from the bordering areas of Pilar and Nanawa, but “unfortunately” the decision is subject “to the epidemiological diagnosis.”

Acevedo explained that Argentina's main concern has to do with the health situation, “for fear of a third wave.”

“Everything is achieved through dialogue and by a rational assumption of what is happening economically in the area,” Acevedo told reporters after a cabinet meeting at the Government House to discuss the 2022 Budget.

Paraguay's top diplomat also admitted Governor Insfrán had already agreed to a meeting while he was still waiting for an answer from Herrera Ahuad in order to “calm down the tense atmosphere, especially in Encarnación.”

“This has to be reduced with a kind of scheduled opening,” said Acevedo, who estimated that the movement in the border area can be controlled with a protocol and the guarantee that, in the event of possible infections, there will be health care assistance availability.

“I think that the vaccination card is an important budget, but not necessary yet. That can be part of the protocol. We can discuss with the governors that from the moment that our compatriots have double vaccination it can be guaranteed that they will not infect anyone with anything,” said Acevedo, who added that “the worst contagion that can occur at the border is smuggling.”

Earlier this week, Paraguayan Migrations Director Ángeles Arriola spoke with her Argentine counterparts and demanded the reactivation of the border through the Encarnación-Posadas bridge. She described the situation at the Department of Itapúa, where there is a marked decrease in COVID-19 cases. “They told us that the department is in good condition, but what matters most is vaccination and the number of people vaccinated with a second dose. They demand that (the immunized population) be higher,” Arriola explained.

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