“Mercosur has closed its doors to Paraguay and it’s not good for Latinamerican integration”, was the first reaction from Asuncion after the group announced the presidency for Venezuela and lifting the suspension of Paraguay next 15 August.
Paraguay will host the next Organization of American States, OAS, General Assembly scheduled for June 3 to 5 of 2014 in Asuncion. The decision by acclamation was taken on Thursday at the end of this year’s event in Guatemala.
Paraguay made public in Geneva its support for Mexico’s candidate Herminio Blanco as the next Director General of the World Trade Organization. The other hopeful who reached the final round is from Brazil, Roberto Azevedo. On Tuesday it should be known who will succeed the current head Pascal Lamy as of next September.
Foreign minister Jose Felix Fernandez Estigarribia said that Paraguay needs an open discussion on whether the country should remain or not in Mercosur, particularly since the issue has become extremely divisive. However the discussion must be addressed by the elected government that takes office in August 2013.
Chile has re-opened its market to Paraguayan beef announced on Tuesday to his peers Sixto Miranda, head of the country’s Rural Society, following a meeting with Foreign Minister Jose Fernandez Estigarribia.
Colombia confirmed on Friday that its ambassador in Paraguay, Alberto Barrantes had returned to Asunción, four months after the political crisis triggered by the removal from office of Fernando Lugo and his replacement by President Federico Franco
Colombian ambassador Jorge Barrantes will be returning to his post in Asunción this weekend, the first Unasur country member to do so, according to Paraguayan Foreign minister Jose Fernandez Estigarribia. Chile is also expected to adopt a similar decision in the near future.
Uruguay’s tenure of Mercosur rotating chair will be advanced six months meaning that at the coming summit in December Brazil will hand over the next six-month responsibility to the administration of President Jose Mujica, thus skipping Paraguay which remains suspended from the South American trade group.
Foreign minister Jose Felix Fernandez Estigarribia confirmed the beginning of negotiations for the re-incorporation of Paraguay to Unasur and Mercosur which will take place through the mediation of a Latinamerican country he did not identify.
Paraguay is involved in low key negotiations with the region to find a way for the quick return of the country to Unasur and Mercosur, and Chile and Colombia are playing crucial roles in such discussions, according to media reports from Asuncion.