In anticipation of the coming Mercosur presidential summit, 16/17 December when Argentina will hand the rotating chair of the group to Brazil, and celebrate the 36th anniversary of the signing of the Foz de Iguazu Declaration, which set the foundations for Mercosur, big reception for some 300 guests was held at the Argentine embassy in Brasilia.
The purpose of the celebration was to reaffirm Argentine/Brazilian relations, after some sour moments, and to evoke the friendship spirit established by then presidents Ricardo Alfonsín and Jose Sarney, which has since been marked in the bilateral political calendar as November 30, Day of Argentine/Brazilian friendship.
It has been a great moment of progress, results and advances in bilateral relations, and thus the celebration is so significant, said Argentine ambassador in Brasilia, Daniel Scioli. The Argentine delegation to Brazil includes among others Gustavo Beliz, Secretary of Strategic Affairs, Jorge Neme deputy cabinet chief and the governor of Chaco province Jorge Capitanich, plus a video from president Alberto Fernandez outlining the close relations, both present and future.
A round of talks with Brazilian officials includes the all powerful Economy minister Paulo Guedes, the Strategic Affairs secretary, Flavio Viana Rocha, Agriculture minister Teresa Cristina, to establish closer trade relations, investments, agriculture sanitary rules and the ambitious Argentine project of a natural gas pipeline from Patagonia shale deposits to Porto Alegre and further north.
Brazil has become Argentina's main trade partner, prospects have improved and exports to Brazil should reach 12 billion dollars. Our exports have grown 50% and Brazilian imports 38%, pointed out ambassador Scioli.
Equally significant despite some ideological differences, Scioli is preparing details for the Mercosur summit on December 16/17, when a private meeting between presidents Fernandez and Bolsonaro is scheduled.
In the video sent by Fernandez, the president states that for Argentina, Brazil is more than a friendly country, it is our present, our future which closely interlaces with that of the Brazilians.
Brazil is our main trading partner and we work every day so that union grows for our mutual benefit, convinced not only that it is possible but that it is absolutely necessary.
Let it be known we are proud that is so because we always believed in the need to deepen political and economic interaction with our brothers in all of Latin America, further underlined president Fernandez.
A complete reversal from when Fernandez took office in December 2019, after defeating president Macri, openly supported by Bolsonaro. The Brazilian president called the Fernandez administration and vice president Cristina Fernandez a gang of crooks and thieves, while the Argentines responded by saying the Brazilian president was a fascist, admirer of Trump and the US empire. For months they wouldn't even talk to each other, but now the two leaders seem more political mature and need each other.