Brazilian and Uruguayan officials have reached an understanding whereby the Rivera airport will become binational, a waterway will be developed, and a new bridge will be built over the Yaguarón river, it was announced after Tuesday's encounter in Brasilia featuring Foreign Ministers Francisco Bustillo and Mauro Viera, among other dignitaries.
Bustillo pointed out that the works will strengthen integration and described the event as a historic moment. His entourage included fellow Ministers Azucena Arebeleche (Economy) and José Luis Falero (Transport and Public Works), while Vieira's team was also made up of Ministers Fernando Haddad; Renan Filho (Transport), and Marcio França (Ports and Airports). Also taking part in the meeting were Uruguay's ambassador Guillermo Valles, and Brasilia's envoy to Montevideo Marcos Raposo Lopes.
According to Bustillo, the agreements stem from instructions issued by Presidents Luis Lacalle Pou and Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, following their meeting in January. The new undertakings will strengthen the physical integration between the two countries and there is no turning back, Bustillo explained.
Soon we will be moving from one side to the other, beyond the dry border, we will be moving in barges across the Merín Lagoon and we will also be expanding this integration through the bridge over the Yaguarón River, he added.
The Brazilian Ministry of Ports and Airports will launch in the next few weeks the tender to dredge the waterway of the Merín and De los Patos lagoons. The works are expected to start before next year.
In addition to this, the Brazilian Ministry of Transport will launch a bidding process for an additional bridge over the Yaguarón River while Uruguay will resume preparations to upgrade the Baron de Maua road crossing between Rio Branco and Yaguaron.
These projects will entail the creation of a bi-national agency. The understanding also provides for the modernization of Mercosur will be modernized in order to have an open and integrated bloc.
Brazil has also invited Uruguay to participate in the G-20 2024 which the South American country will host in 2024.
We agree on deepening interaction within the bloc and on seeking to expand the network of external agreements. We consider that there is ample space to work together on the bloc's external agenda and to seek the best international insertion of our countries, Vieira said while pledging to work together will all Mercosur countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) on the agreement with the European Union (EU), which was approved, but is yet to be ratified.
We will work actively in the search for balanced trade agreements with other blocs and countries, and on central issues such as the elimination of trade barriers, the improvement of infrastructure, and the promotion of sustainable development, Vieira added.
In the joint statement read by Vieira, the two countries also stressed their responsibility to push forward the ongoing Mercosur modernization process to build a bloc that benefits the societies of the member countries and is open and integrated to the world.
We reiterated our common interest in intensifying the dialogue on the central challenges of the binational agenda. In this regard, the Brazilian government invited Uruguay to participate in the G-20 summit to be held in Brazil in 2024, added the Brazilian foreign minister.