Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, stressed that priority will be given this year to the Brazilian government’s negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO) and integration among the nations of South America.
“Concluding negotiations with the WTO will be essential for us to put an end to agricultural subsidies, which represent a curse on world trade. We must also consolidate a lot of things that were begun, such as South American integration and our relations with other developing countries, such as India, China, and Russia,” he affirmed in an interview with the Agência Brasil.
The Chancellor revealed that President Lula has meetings scheduled with the presidents of other nations to discuss bilateral issues. On his trip January 19 to Tabatinga, in the state of Amazonas, he will meet with the president of Colombia, ílvaro Uribe. In February he has a meeting scheduled with the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.
As for negotiations over the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the Minister pointed out that this also may constitute a priority for Lula’s Administration this year.
The Mercosur will also receive special attention from Lula’s Administration in 2005. “We shall continue working in this sphere,” the Minister declared.
According to Amorim, the Integrated Surveillance System of the Amazon (Sivam) has made progress when it comes to exchanging information with neighboring countries.
He added that there are no secrets among the countries of South America, but he pointed out that cooperation becomes more difficult when information is passed on to third countries.
Another priority of Lula’s Administration will be to continue the Brazilian peace mission and the search for stability in Haiti.
Translation: David Silberstein