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Lula criticised Javier Milei’s absence at the Mercosur summit: It was a huge nonsense

The local leader, host of the meeting of the regional bloc, spoke to a group of journalists at the end of the conference. “It is a huge nonsense that the president of an important country like Argentina does not participate in a meeting with Mercosur,” he said.

In any case, the PT leader, who is at odds with the Argentine president, considered that “What matters is that the Argentine people participate in Mercosur”. Since the arrival of Milei to the Pink House They did not hold any bilateral meetings due to the cross-criticism between them.

Lula, Luis Lacalle Pou and Santiago Peña questioned the absence of Javier Milei at the Mercosur summit

The presidents of the other two founding countries of Mercosur – Uruguay Luis Lacalle Pou and the host, the Paraguayan Santiago Peña- also They regretted the absence of Milei and the lack of integration of the regional bloc due to its tendency to be undermined by ideological differences.

“If Mercosur is so important, all the presidents should be here”lashed out Lacalle Pou and added: “I attach importance to the Mercosur. And if we really believe in this block, we should all be there.”

The Uruguayan leader referred without naming him explicitly to Milei, who chose to travel to Brazil but to participate in the summit of conservatives CPAC and visit the former president Jair Bolsonaro.

For his part, Peña commented that the bloc was suffering from “integration fatigue.” “There was a lot of progress in the 1990s, but in the 2000s (…) there was a change in trend with an ideological bias that caused the bloc to disintegrate,” he said.

The Argentine foreign minister, Diana Mondino, In representation of Milei, He replied in his speech: ““We don’t have to agree, but we do have to be able to listen to different opinions. I hope that we can reach this maturity as a group.”

Mercosur began negotiations with the United Arab Emirates for an agreement

The meeting takes place in the middle of the stagnation of the negotiations for a free trade agreement with the European Union (EU)which has been traded for more than 20 years and which plans to eliminate most tariffs between the two zoneswhich would create a commercial space of more than 700 million consumers.

For Lula, the agreement with the EU has not been reached “only because they have not been able to resolve their internal contradictions.”

The agreement is opposed by some European countries, mainly France, whose agricultural sector fears competition from South American agricultural products.

On a more optimistic note, the presidents highlighted a recent agreement with Singapore, which broke more than a decade of lethargy when it was signed in December, and the launch last week of negotiations with the United Arab Emirates.

The Bolivian president, Luis Arce, during the 64th Mercosur summit, formalized the entry of Bolivia after having promulgated the law of accession days after quelling a coup attempt in Peace, which was condemned by the other countries Mercosur except Argentina, which considered it a “fraud.”

Also the brand new Panamanian President Jose Raul Mulino who participated as an extra-zone guest, announced that will seek to form part of the bloc as an associate country, joining six other countries in the region. Founded in 1991, Mercosur is the main recipient of foreign investment in South America and has a GDP of 2.86 trillion dollars.

Source: Ambito

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