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Montevideo, July 2nd 2022 - 07:52 UTC



Presidents of Paraguay and Argentina oversee dam project

Tuesday, May 31st 2022 - 07:35 UTC
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Electricity plants are full steam ahead, but the reopening of the local border crossing not quite so, Abdo and Fernández admitted Electricity plants are full steam ahead, but the reopening of the local border crossing not quite so, Abdo and Fernández admitted

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez Monday welcomed his Argentine counterpart Alberto Fernández in Ayolas, 305 kilometers from Asunción, to attend a series of events involving joint undertakings in energy production.

 Both heads of state were joined by Ayolas Mayor Carlos Duarte; and by the Executive Directors of the Yacyretá Binational Entity, Nicanor Duarte Frutos -the former Paraguayan President- and Fernando De Vido.

The Argentine President and his entourage (First Lady Fabiola Yáñez, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero and Presidential Secretary-General Julio Vitobello) were welcomed at the Juan de Ayolas International Airport by the Paraguayan leader and First Lady Silvana Abdo, Foreign Minister Julio César Arriola and Argentina's Ambassador to Asunción, Domingo Peppo.

“Argentina and Paraguay have a common destiny that we want to deepen”, said Fernandez in Yacyretá. Both Presidents then toured the works of the Aña Cuá dam, which will allow an increase of up to 20% in the power plant's energy production, after three turbines are installed at a cost of nearly US$ 350 million.

“In the times we are living in, the unity of the continent and of our peoples is central,” said Fernández. “We are that homeland that disintegrated in limits but not in community, we are the same and we have to deepen those bonds to become stronger,” he added.

“The pandemic showed us the injustice in which we live and how unequal the world has been, and our division makes it easier for that injustice to become more evident,” Fernández went on. “United we are much stronger.”

Abdo then thanked his Argentine counterpart “for the hand of solidarity which, at a time when our country had no vaccines, helped us with logistics so that we could receive vaccines in those hard times when we needed the helping hand of a friendly people.”

Despite the encounter's repercussions, neither leader made any announcement regarding the reopening of the border crossing over the dam. They both vowed to work on the issue and solve it as soon as possible. “We are working with President Fernandez to re-enable the crossing. It was already enabled, but well, now surely the technicians will continue doing the studies and I hope we can enable it as soon as possible,” Abdo said.

The crossing was closed in March 2020, as a result of the pandemic. “There are infrastructure issues on the Argentine side” that need to be worked out, Fernández also explained.

“I made several commitments and you must help me fulfill them; one of those commitments ... has to do with the border crossing: I believe that an investment on the Argentine side will allow it to be enabled and thus be able to fulfill that commitment,” Abdo stressed.

The Governor of the Argentine province of Corrientes, Gustavo Valdés, who has been demanding the opening of the land border crossing between Ayolas and Ituzaingó, was not even invited to the tour. Valdés and Fernández are not from the same political party.

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