The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, met today with the President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel Fernandes, to discuss political issues.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Amorim also held a meeting at the Brazilian Embassy with entrepreneurs and Brazilian government representatives who are in the country to explore new business opportunities, as well as to expand bilateral technical cooperation in the cultural and educational spheres.
Amorim affirmed that it is still too soon to comment on the political situation in Bolivia, but he said that the Brazilian government believes in a peaceful, constitutional solution for the country.
Yesterday, the President of Bolivia, Carlos Mesa, submitted his resignation request, which still must be approved by the Congress.
The hub of the crisis that is affecting the country revolves around the issue of petroleum and natural gas reserves.
The new Hydrocarbons Law, recently enacted by the Bolivian government, raised the taxes levied on foreign companies engaged in petroleum and natural gas production.
The country’s social movements, however, demand the nationalization of reserves and the termination of production contracts with foreign companies.
Addressing the Dominican press, Amorim declared that Brazil, “whenever it is requested, will be ready to help, together with other South American countries, but it is up to Bolivia to make the request.”
Amorim also thanked the Dominican government for its support on behalf of Brazil’s becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
Amorim also remarked that his visit to the Dominican Republic, which ends today, was intended to foment closer ties between the two countries.
“This visit was not to sign contracts but to expand the possibilities of political, commercial, and cultural relations.”