Argentina Calls Brazil's UN Bid Undemocratic and Elitist

Argentina's Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa said Brazil's request for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council is "elitist and not very democratic."

Bielsa said he supports expanding the number of temporary seats on the Security Council while leaving the number of permanent members at five.

Brazil this month allied with Japan, Germany and India in a bid to win a permanent seat for each country on the council, the UN's most powerful body.

Bielsa's comments follow a growing number of trade disputes between both countries, South America's two biggest economies, including Argentine restrictions on some Brazilian imports.

"It's a position we consider to be elitist and not very democratic, which is why we reaffirm our will that any reform must not be done on the basis of new permanent members but of rotating seats," Bielsa said, according to Argentina's DyN news agency.

Earlier this month at the UN in New York, the Group of Brazil, Germany, India and Japan, proposed expanding the 15-member council to 25 seats.

Japan and Germany say they deserve permanent seats on the council because they are the world's second and third-biggest economies. India and Brazil, the most populous nation in South America, say their size qualifies them for membership. India is the world's second-most populous country.

President Nestor Kirchner May 19 said Argentina had the right to defend its trade interests with Brazil by imposing restrictions on imports. "Are we always the ones that have to give up our rights?" Kirchner said.

Bielsa is in Luxembourg to attend trade negotiations between the Mercosur and the European Union. The Mercosur trade bloc comprises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Argentina and Brazil, the two largest members of the Mercosur trade bloc, have been rivals for regional leadership for decades.

This article appeared originally in Mercopress - www.mercopress.com.

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