The Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, said, yesterday, after a meeting of G-20 Ministers in Paris, France, that he does not perceive tension in the relations between Brazil and Argentina and that Lula’s Administration is determined to deepen the strategic alliance between the two countries.
“In all our actions we try to act in coordination with Argentina, which is always the first to be heard whenever something new is proposed. Whereas it’s normal for two important countries like Brazil and Argentina to differ on some points, but our alliance is strategic.”
The Minister made these declarations, which were released by the Itamaraty press office, during an interview with journalists in Paris.
Amorim refrained from commenting the declarations made by the Argentinean Chancellor, Rafael Bielsa, and reported in the Argentinean newspaper, “El Clarin,” on the grounds that he was uncertain of the accuracy of the information.
With respect to Argentinean government complaints that Brazil has given preference to the Community of South American Countries, Amorim said that the Mercosur and the Community go hand in hand.
“We believe that the two things are not contradictory, they have to proceed together. I think that this is good for Brazil and good for South America. Even in a negotiation such as the one over the FTAA (Free Trade Area of the Americas) or with the European Union, if we had all of South America together, we would obviously have more strength.
“This in no way diminishes the strategic importance that Brazil assigns to Argentina as a priority, above all other relations.”
The Minister also said that the Brazilian government should purchase more wheat and petroleum from Argentina and invest more in that country.
“We should have an industrial policy in which the BNDES (National Economic and Social Investment Bank) could be used to finance investments in Argentina.
“That would improve the situation. It would be good for Argentina and good for Brazil. Brazil should do more for Argentina than it has in the past.”