Brazil’s Lula and Argentina’s Kirchner Talk About Mercosur’s Viability

    The leaders of Argentina and Brazil are meeting in São Paulo, in the Brazilian Southeast, this Tuesday evening, April 25, to discuss the future of the embattled Mercosur trade bloc, which is undergoing the worst political crisis since it was created 15 years ago.

    President Néstor Kirchner will meet his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at 7 p.m.

    Both foreign ministries say the meeting is designed to "reaffirm" the good bilateral relationship between the two countries. But sources also agree that the presidents will look into the increasing protest of smaller Mercosur nations, Uruguay and Paraguay, which complain they are not taken into account when it comes to decision-making.

    Argentina’s row with Uruguay over the construction of two paper pulp mills is also expected to be part of the agenda.

    Tomorrow, Kirchner and Lula will be joined by Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez. Venezuela last year became a full member of Mercosur, although its role is largely political until the fine print of its trade participation is agreed upon.

    Chavez last week attended a meeting in Asunción that gathered the leaders of the smaller Mercosur nations, Paraguay and Uruguay, and Bolivia, who is an associate member of the bloc.

    Mercopress

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