Presidents from Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela made a commitment to push forward with South American energy integration according to officials in BrasÀlia.
Nestor Kirchner, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Hugo Chávez discussed several aspects of regional integration during a dinner at the Brazilian leader’s residence ahead of the first South America-Arab summit which began Tuesday in the Brazilian capital.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said Tuesday that one of the issues that dominated the presidents’ discussion was energy.
Energy ministers from the three countries plan to meet in Brasília “to identify projects that could start to put into action the ideas on cooperation in petroleum and natural gas” said Mr. Amorim.
The three presidents also agreed that Economy ministers meet in Buenos Aires next June 10 to address other integration issues emphasizing in “social aspects”, revealed the Brazilian Minister.
Other issues on the table during the meeting were the recent trade disputes between Argentina and Brazil which caused a rift among both countries, and the Ecuadorian political crisis that remains stagnant.
The presidents finally agreed to another meeting “with the greatest number of ministers possible,” although the place and date have yet to be announced said Mr. Amorim.
President Kirchner considered the meeting with his Brazilian counterpart as “satisfactory” and therefore decided to anticipate his return to Buenos Aires. The Argentinean President will not be present at the South American-Arab summit closing ceremony Wednesday, according to Argentine diplomatic sources.
“All the issues were addressed and we are satisfied,” said the source, including Brazil’s support for Argentina’s position in the coming negotiations with the IMF.
“We emphatically supported Argentina in the last IMF meeting, and we are totally behind Argentina in their stance vis-í -vis the IMF”, underlined Marco Aurélio Garcia, President Lula da Silva’ main international affairs advisor.
Argentina’s main complaints against Brazil are that the Lula da Silva administration is insistent in privileging the South American Community of Nations over Mercosur in spite of statements to the contrary, and the 23 months running trade deficit.
During April Argentine exports to Brazil experienced a slight recovery, but first quarter figures show Brazil’s surplus reaching 889 million US dollars. Brazilian exports to Argentina total led 2,796 billion US dollars and imports 1,897 billion.
This article appeared originally in Mercopress.