Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, was in Santiago on Saturday, meeting with Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno and President Sebastián Piñera.
At least fourteen presidents, including Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos and Venezuela’ Hugo Chavez, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have confirmed they will be present next January first in Brasilia when Dilma Rousseff takes office as Brazil’s first woman president.
President Evo Morales announced on Friday that Bolivia would recognize Palestine as an independent sovereign state. The Bolivian leader made the statement during the Mercosur summit in Brazil.
Uruguayan president Jose Mujica called on the Mercosur summit for a quick incorporation of Venezuela as full member of the group and said it was time the rest of Latin America moved closer to the integration process.
Argentine president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner underlined the significance of Venezuela as a full member of Mercosur which should enable the group to consolidate an energy front.
Conditions are ready to reach in the short term a trade agreement with the European Union, said Paraguayan president Fernando Lugo whose country, and for the next six months, holds the pro tempore chair of the South American block.
Member nations of Mercosur will seek to boost economic and political ties with Cuba in a bid to make the island an associate member of the trade bloc.
The Mercosur summit approved Thursday a declaration protesting “formally and energetically” UK’s decision to hold military exercises in the Malvinas islands and reiterated support for Argentina’s sovereignty claim over the South Atlantic Islands.
Mercosur leaders meeting in Brazil launched a plan to adopt common trade, investment and immigration policies to help underpin unprecedented economic growth in the region.
Australian Foreign Secretary Kevin Rudd will be present at the two-day Mercosur summit which begins Thursday in Foz de Iguazu. Rudd met on Wednesday with his Brazilian peer Celso Amorim ahead of the summit and in the framework of the “Australia-Brazil Dialogue” created last September.