Brazil’s Lula Hopeful There Will Be a Mersosur-EU Accord This Year

    Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared that Brazil continues its efforts to conclude a trade agreement uniting Mercosur and the European Union.

    "I am certain that with pragmatism and realism we can reach an ambitious and balanced agreement by the end of this year," said Lula, following a meeting with the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso.

    Lula told reporters that his talks with Durão Barroso focused on the process of integrating South America and Europe.

    "I told my friend, Durão Barroso, that in spite of the vicissitudes and "asymmetrics" involved, along with the skepticism of some, we are in fact building an integrated economic area with an expanding horizon of commerce and cooperation," said Lula.

    Pointing out that relations between Brazil and the European Economic Community exist since 1960, a joint declaration by Lula and Durão Barroso stated that stronger ties between the two blocks are both economic and strategic objectives.

    Brazil-Chile Cooperation

    The Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Celso Amorim, and Chile, Alejandro Foxley, following a meeting in Brazilian capital Brasí­lia this week, declared that the two countries are committed to building an alliance based on economic cooperation for development in the areas of infrastructure and services. The bilateral cooperation will extend to other members of Mercosur.

    Pointing out that this was the fourth visit by Foxley in four months, Amorim said that both countries are engaged in seeking South American integration based on strong democratic institutions and the need to alleviate the continent’s grave social problems.

    According to Foxley, "Brazil and Chile are working toward Latin American integration within a framework of dynamic democracies committed to social inclusion within a globalized market."

    Agência Brasil

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