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Montevideo, July 25th 2024 - 15:35 UTC



Lula lands in Bolivia with busy schedule ahead

Tuesday, July 9th 2024 - 10:16 UTC
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Presidents Lula and Arce had been earlier Monday in Asunción for the Mercosur Summit Presidents Lula and Arce had been earlier Monday in Asunción for the Mercosur Summit

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva landed in Santa Cruz de la Sierra on Monday evening straight from the 64th Mercosur Summit in Asunción with an entourage of some 100 businessmen from his country to explore opportunities in the new full regional bloc member.

 Lula will also seek to strengthen bilateral relations with the administration of Luis Arce Catacora. The last time President Lula was in Bolivia, ruling the landlocked country was Arce's mentor and now foe Evo Morales.

Welcoming the Brazilian leader at Viru Viru airport were Acting Santa Cruz Governor Mario Aguilera and Santa Cruz de la Sierra Mayor Jhonny Fernández, together with Foreign Minister Celinda Sosa and Minister of the Presidency, María Nela Prada, who describes the PT leader's presence as “historic.”

Lula's official agenda kicks off Tuesday morning with a meeting with Arce and members of his cabinet to discuss energy, agriculture, business, trade, and social issues.

Both heads of state are also expected to review Mercosur matters now that Bolivia has officially become a full member of the regional alliance. Lula and Arce participated earlier Monday in the Mercosur Summit in the Paraguayan capital.

“Our relationship with Bolivia is historic and fundamental. We are here to deepen our ties and work together on projects that benefit our peoples,” explained Lula.

“Brazil is a strategic partner for Bolivia. This visit is an opportunity to advance initiatives that will boost the development and well-being of our nations,” said Arce.

Also on the agenda is the signing of an agreement for the construction of a new railway line that will connect the Brazilian port of Santos with the Bolivian highlands.

According to Bolivia's Deputy Foreign Minister Elmer Catarina, his country is eager to show Lula the achievements ”with the industrialization of lithium and the opportunities that (are) opening up for us in such a large market as Brazil“ through the development of the Uyuni salt flat.

Catarina also said Lula would be offering ”his political support to President Lucho” after the failed June 26 coup d'état. The Brazilian leader is also scheduled to meet with indigenous and peasant unions.

Categories: Politics, Brazil, Latin America.

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