At a summit marked by strong differences between Argentina and Venezuela, Mercosur signed a statement in defense of the unrestricted support of human rights. Earlier in the day there was a serious exchange between Argentine president Mauricio Macri who demanded all political prisoners in Venezuela be set free, and president Nicolas Maduro foreign minister who replied that Macri was 'meddling' in Venezuela's affairs and was applying a 'double standard' on the issue.
Chilean president Michelle Bachelet called for a convergence among governments of South America despite the political and ideological differences, and anticipated that Chile will strongly promote the rapprochement between Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance.
Paraguay foreign minister Eladio Loizaga advanced some of the issues that will addressed on Monday's Mercosur presidential summit, when all of the members of the group's heads of state have confirmed their attendance, except Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro, plus leaders from associate members.
Mercosur members have identified over eighty non tariff barriers currently effective in intra-trade and have agreed on their gradual elimination, a proposal to be considered by the group's presidential summit when they meet Monday in Asuncion, Paraguay.