Brazil’s Lula Warmly Welcomes Chavez into the Mercosur Brotherhood

During the opening ceremony of the 29th Mercosur Summit in Montevideo, Uruguay, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said that the good relationship with the Andean Pact will facilitate Venezuela’s incorporation process into the Mercosur.

Lula complimented Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez, for the country’s entry into the Mercosur as a full member. Venezuela has already participated in the bloc as an associate member since 2004. It is the first time the bloc accepts a full member since its creation in 1991.

According to Lula, one of Mercosur future challenges is to get closer to citizens. He also mentioned the need to improve the bloc’s institutions and to create mechanisms to enable investments and its productive integration.

The President cited the efforts of the Brazilian government to increase the involvement of the organized civil society in the bloc, and praised the "We are Mercosur" program, developed by Uruguay.

Lula also talked about advances in the project for the physical integration of the region. According to him, 43 projects are under development since 2003, and Brazil has approved more than US$ 2 billion for investments and warranties.

"Large part of this money will be applied in the Mercosur, in constructions such as the Mercosur Highway, the second bridge over River Paraná, and the São José Thermoelectric Plant, in Uruguay.

Agência Brasil

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