The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, commented today, May 4, that the supply and price of natural gas pumped from Bolivia to Brazil are matters of great concern to the Brazilian government.
Amorim made his comments at the Brasília Air Base, where he was about to embark with president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, on their way to Puerto Iguazu, on the Brazilian border with Argentina, where they will have a meeting with the presidents of Bolivia, Evo Morales, Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, and Argentina, Néstor Kirchner.
Amorim emphasized that the government is trying to find a solution to the conflict with Bolivia and that the Bolivians have an interest in selling natural gas to Brazil, since their export revenues from these sales amount to US$ 1 billion. "Integration must be good for everybody."
With regard to the criticisms of Lula’s foreign policy, Amorim dismissed them as opportunistic. According to the foreign minister, the problem with Bolivia is the result of a decision taken several years ago, not yesterday.
"The problem didn’t spring up because this Administration assigns priority to South America. Quite the opposite, it’s because this Administration assigns priority to South America that we have every possibility of resolving the problem."
Lula was also accompanied by the minister of Mines and Energy, Silas Rondeau, the president of Petrobras, José Sérgio Gabrielli, and the special presidential international affairs adviser, Marco Aurélio Garcia.