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Montevideo, May 22nd 2024 - 13:37 UTC



Brazil and Argentina have much in common despite opposing presidents

Monday, April 15th 2024 - 23:59 UTC
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Argentina's relations with Brazil are a state policy, Mondino said at a press conference alongside Vieira Argentina's relations with Brazil are a state policy, Mondino said at a press conference alongside Vieira

Foreign Ministers Mauro Vieira of Brazil and Diana Mondino of Argentina met in Brasilia on Monday for talks aimed at bringing South America's two largest countries closer together, despite the opposing views of presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Javier Milei, especially on each other.

The two top diplomats reviewed the bilateral agenda with a focus on energy and physical integration. Mondino said Brazil's possible participation in the construction of a second phase of the Vaca Muerta gas pipeline, a hydrocarbon-rich field in southern Argentina, was discussed. The project allows for Brazilian financing to bring the pipeline to southern Brazil, where authorities need to meet local demand for cooking gas. “The users are in Brazil, the production is in Argentina,” so “there is an alignment of interests,” Mondino argued. “At least on the Argentine side,” all the necessary investments “will be private,” she also pointed out.

Vieira also noted that connectivity, including roads, bridges, highways, and waterways, was also discussed, especially the launch of the tender for the bridge linking São Borja, in the Brazilian State of Rio Grande del Sur, and the city of Santo Tomé, in the province of Corrientes, as well as defense issues, with Brazil interested in selling armored vehicles to Argentina.

Both ministers emphasized that the relationship between Argentina and Brazil is that of two states, regardless of the deep ideological differences between Milei and Lula, although a meeting between the two leaders is not ruled out, according to sources close to Mondino, quoted by Buenos Aires media.

After meeting with Vieira, Mondino had lunch with Vice President Geraldo Alckmin and plans to meet with local businessmen in São Paulo on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The main message I want to convey at this moment is the certainty we have about the centrality and relevance of the bilateral relationship. It has become a true state policy,” Mondino stressed in a brief statement to the press.

Also on Monday, Vieira took the opportunity to speak about Brazil's stance on the ongoing crisis in the Middle East. Lula's government backtracked from earlier statements made on Saturday night when the attacks were still unfolding and the extent of the events was not fully clear and called on all parties to avoid an escalation of the conflict.

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