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The Minister of the Interior, Federico González, confirmed this Wednesday the absence of the President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, from the summit of Mercosur heads of state that will host the Paraguayan city of Luque tomorrow.

Source: EFE

“Always in any summit event, or international meetings, there is the feasibility of the non-attendance of one or more” of the invited rulers, González declared at a press conference from the Government Palace.

González indicated that Brazil will be represented at the conclave of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), the first in person after the start of the pandemic, by its foreign minister, Carlos Alberto Franco França.

“Brazil’s position, which is similar to Paraguay’s, is to continue to strengthen this integration process and that the four of us always have to negotiate as a block,” added González, .

In addition, he assured that the participation of the presidents of Argentina, Alberto Fernández; from Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou; the Prime Minister of Guyana, Mark Phillips, and the Vice President of Colombia, Marta Lucía Ramírez, among others.

Delegates from the Mercosur countries are meeting starting this Wednesday in the city of Luque, close to the Paraguayan capital, Asunción, for the transfer of the bloc’s pro tempore Presidency, which Uruguay will occupy during the second half of the year.

The appointment will be marked by the discomfort generated among the Mercosur partners by Montevideo’s announcement that it will begin talks with China with a view to signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

However, Lacalle Pou clarified on Monday that his country’s idea “is to advance together” in the talks.

“Mercosur has much more negotiating power as a whole than Uruguay alone,” settled the head of state, who will receive from the host president, Mario Abdo Benítez, the Presidency of the integration mechanism.

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