We May Be Troublesome, But Not Stubborn, Says Argentina to Brazil

Argentina is a “troublesome” partner but “not stubborn” said Argentine Foreign Affairs Minister, Rafael Bielsa, following the signature Friday in Brazil of an agreement to intensify relations between the two neighboring countries.

The “Brasí­lia Accord”, which will be endorsed in a Kirchner-Lula da Silva presidential summit, was stamped by Mr. Bielsa and his Brazilian counterpart, Celso Amorim, who underlined the significance that both countries agreed to “deepen and accelerate” the bilateral relation and advance in “productive integration, infrastructure and energy”.


“Argentina is a troublesome partner, but not stubborn”, underlined Mr. Bielsa adding that the “uncomfortable attitude” corresponds to a country with “needs”.


“It’s not an irrational position, but rather out of necessity”, argued Mr. Bielsa during a press conference following the meeting that is expected to put an end to months of Argentina claims regarding bilateral trade relations with Brazil.


Insisting that in spite of press reports, coincidences are greater than differences, Mr. Bielsa admitted anyhow that “conflictiveness exists”.


Mr. Bielsa said that the re-launching of relations means greater harmonization and anticipating conflicts before they surface for which “political and technical staff from both countries will be meeting every fortnight to address pending issues of the bilateral agenda such as energy and transport”.


Brazilian minister Amorim said the occasion means a “great turn” for relations which are already “intense and very satisfactory”, although there are always “common problems that must be solved”.


Mr. Amorim added that he received a “working paper” from Argentine Economy minister Roberto Lavagna with “interesting proposals” and anticipated both countries would continue “to grow together”.


“We are collaborating with Brazil as Brazil has collaborated with us,” particularly the “100% support” during Argentina’s recent negotiations with the IMF highlighted Mr. Bielsa.


A slight difference on regional integration policies was nevertheless perceived.


Mr. Bielsa said that before advancing with the South American Community of Nations, (a Brazilian priority), “the Mercosur hurdle must be overcome”, although coinciding with Mr. Amorim that the region has before it “an excellent opportunity” for integration in all fronts.


It was agreed that the twice monthly meetings of high officials must lead to the signing of “specific protocols in several fields” next November 30, when both countries will celebrate the day of “Argentina-Brazil friendship”.


The protocols will cover strategic fields such as nuclear, space, military, energy, borders and infrastructure.


To end a very fruitful fence mending visit, Brazil bestowed on Mr. Bielsa the Great Cross of the Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul (National Order of the Southern Cross), one of the country’s greatest honors.


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

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