Mercosur Foreign Ministers Monday agreed to hold the upcoming Summit of the Group in Asunción on July 21. It will be the first face-to-face encounter of all four regional leaders since all previous meetings involving all four current leaders were all held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
They were also scheduled to convene at last week's Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, but Uruguay's President Luis Lacalle Pou had to cancel his trip at the last minute after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero has discussed the agenda with his Brazilian and Paraguayan colleagues -Carlos França and Julio César Arriola-, a statement from the San Martín Palace said.
In addition to the integration agenda, the four presidents will review the bloc's external relations and the negotiation scenarios and their immediate prospects, the communiqué added.
In Mercosur our strength lies in unity and solidarity; if we add to these the incentive to trade and the conclusion of pending trade agreements, we will take accelerated steps towards the longed-for economic development, said Arriola on Twitter.
Paraguay holds Mercosur's pro tempore presidency of Mercosur.
We will continue working from Mercosur seeking integration to improve the lives of our peoples. More than ever, we need a strong and supportive bloc, in order to strengthen an agenda of sustainable development with social justice, Cafiero stressed in the Argentine communiqué.
The foreign ministers also exchanged views on the evaluation of the economy and international trade in light of the conflict in Ukraine and the impact on Latin America, the statement added.
In recent times, Uruguay has favored Mercosur's modernization to make it more flexible, a view which is supported by Brazil. Both countries are eager to negotiate bilateral trade agreements with third parties without needing the green light of the other Mercosur members.