Argentina's Ambassador to Brazil Daniel Scioli Wednesday said Friday's Mercosur Summit posed no risk of tensions between Presidents Alberto Fernández and Jair Bolsonaro, despite former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva's recent appearance at a ceremony in Buenos Aires.
Lula is likely to contend Bolsonaro in next year's presidential elections and his presence alongside foreign leaders such as the Fernándezes in Argentina (Alberto and current Vice President Cristina) plus the Uruguayan Pepe Mujica has been regarded in Brasilia as part of a campaign.
“I did not hear from them (from Brazilian officials) any situation that had a negative influence. It went from face-to-face to virtual for other reasons, the situation is calm, Scioli told La Nación.
Everything possible is being done from Brazil to bring positions closer,” he added with the Mercosur Common External Tariff (CET) in mind, an issue on which Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil do not agree with the Uruguayan Government of Luis Lacalle Pou.
Scioli has managed to brush off the main discrepancies between Presidents Bolsonaro and Fernández and said on Twitter he hoped the summit will take place in constructive and positive terms.
Meanwhile, President Fernández met Wednesday at Casa Rosada with Canelones Mayor Yamandú Orsi, who said Uruguay's ties with Argentina were strategic.
Friday's Summit will signal the fate of the common bloc over the possibility of authorizing extra-zone one-on-one agreements between member nations and other countries or blocs.
Regarding CET, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay “agree to the reduction with the parameters agreed with last November when the visit to Brazil led by (Foreign Minister, Santiago) Cafiero was carried out in Itamaraty with his peer, Carlos França,” Argentine Foreign Ministry sources quoted by La Nación said.
Uruguay is said to be using CET as a bargaining chip to be able to negotiate independently with any third parties, meaning China. In any case, Mercosur diplomats are still trying to persuade Uruguay to join the stance of the other members regarding CET.
Scioli also said, all controversies with Brazil have been overcome, while all efforts are being made to agree and harmonize also with Uruguay at the Mercosur summit.