Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva went to Montevideo, where he participated in the opening session of the 29th Mercosur Summit Meeting on Friday, December 9.
The Brazilian President had arrived in the Uruguayan capital the previous day and had a meeting with the President of Paraguay, Nicanor Duarte.
According to the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, who went also to Montevideo, two agreements have been signed with Paraguay.
The first agreement has to do with the construction of a bridge between the two countries. The project should cost around US$ 50 million, and, according to Amorim, the Brazilian government will pay for the cost.
Amorim also explained that the other agreement involves a long-time Paraguayan demand. According to Amorim, the Brazilian government will contribute with another US$ 21 million annually to the Paraguayans for the electricity generated by the Itaipu hydroelectric plant.
Regarding Venezuela’s entry as a full-fledged member of the Mercosur, Amorim commented that it will be "important and will help balance" the bloc. There is an expectation that Venezuela will emerge from this meeting as a "member in the process of adhesion."
The president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, told reporters that he already "considers himself part of the Mercosur."
On his trip to Montevideo, President Lula was accompanied by the ministers of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, and of Mines and Energy, Silas Rondeau.
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