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Venezuela Ready to Join Brazil in Mercosur as Full Member

Venezuela will become a "full member" of Mercosur next December, following an agreement with the current four members, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, announced in Spain Uruguay’s Foreign Affairs Minister Reinaldo Gargano.

"I’m giving you a headline which is most important from a political and economic point of view," Gargano informed the press room in Salamanca’s Ibero-American summit.

"Three months ago I formally received Venezuela’s request to become a full member. As president of the pro-tempore Mercosur chair I informed Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, and the three have replied positively," he added, underlining that "this means that next December, Venezuela becomes a full member of Mercosur".

Mr. Gargano said that the incorporation of Venezuela "gives Mercosur a new dimension, from the Caribbean to Tierra del Fuego, and opens the way for the Andean Community of Nations and Mercosur to advance towards a free trade association with an incredible potential".

During the second half of 2005 Uruguay holds the Mercosur rotating pro-tempore chair. Chile, Bolivia and all Andean countries currently have associate status.

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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