The president of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, arrived this Friday on an official visit to Paraguay, where he hopes to address, among other issues, with his host, Mario Abdo Benítez, his country’s proposal to “modernize” Mercosur.
Lacalle Pou’s trip takes place when there is a month and a half to go before the transfer of the Presidency of the Common Market of the South (Mercosur) for the next semester between Paraguay and Uruguay.
“We come once again to trust that Paraguay and Uruguay are friendly countries and that they are also countries that can complement each other perfectly,” the president told reporters, shortly after being received by the national foreign minister, Julio César Arriola.
Lacalle Pou, who arrived accompanied by his foreign minister, Francisco Bustillo, anticipated that he will address “all” common issues with Abdo Benítez, including some that may have “some nuance.”
“We are in one of the most protectionist regions in the world, the fifth most protectionist region in the world. Surely perhaps there is some nuance with Paraguay due to its foreign trade, which is different in its composition from ours, ”he explained.
In this context, he defended that his country insists “over and over again” that Mercosur “understands that it must be modernized, that it must be flexible.”
Regarding his visit, he explained that Abdo Benítez invited him “long ago” to the country, and highlighted the “very fluid relationship” that they maintain as heads of state and personally.
He stressed that he has kept in touch “during all these complex years of the pandemic,” which, he assured, required “a lot of coordination and a lot of joint work.”
A meeting between the two rulers is scheduled for this Saturday at the Palacio de López.
They will then travel to the department of Itapúa where they will visit an intelligent tourism center in the Guaraní Jesuit Mission of Jesús de Tavarangue, and other places, according to the tentative agenda.
A private meeting between the two leaders is scheduled for Sunday and later Abdo Benítez will honor Lacalle Pou.
The Uruguayan president will receive the National Order of Merit in the degree of “Marshal Francisco Solano López Necklace” and will then attend a parade for the 211th anniversary of Independence.