Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou Wednesday welcomed Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta at the Suárez y Reyes residency, in Montevideo, in a meeting during which they discussed the conditions for updating and relaunching Mercosur, to make it a dynamic, modern, and integrated to the world bloc.
Larreta is launching his bid for the presidency within the opposition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) alliance of former President Mauricio Macri, who has not ruled out running again himself despite his overwhelming defeat against Alberto Fernández in the first round in 2019 when he could not even reach a runoff.
According to Buenos Aires' La Nación, the meeting lasted more than an hour.
Rodríguez Larreta believes Juntos por el Cambio might return to power in the 2023 elections, despite the internal friction due to the lack of clear leadership.
Lacalle advised the Buenos Aires mayor to be firm with ideas and soft with people. That's exactly what I think, replied Larreta.
”In order to carry out the deep transformations that the country needs, Argentina has to form a coalition as broad as possible from 2023,″ Larreta said as he praised the five-party Multicolor coalition model Uruguay used to end back-to-back election victories by the leftist Frente Amplio (Broad Front).
We agree on the need to work to update and relaunch Mercosur and turn it into a dynamic, modern, and integrated trade bloc that generates development opportunities for the region, said Larreta after the meeting.
Regarding Mercosur, Lacalle insisted that we are in the same boat, but we do not have to do everything together. He also agreed Argentina needed to form the broadest possible coalition as from 2023 to advance in the transformations that the country needs and capitalize on the current disagreements among the ruling Frente de Todos leadership.
Rodríguez Larreta went to Uruguay on a mission to promote exchanges in tourism, culture, and other issues. He concurred with Lacalle on the need to promote tourism, which is still below pre-pandemic levels.