Argentina is determined in strengthening the "privileged" relation with Brazil, which it considers the heart of South America's regional integration, said Eduardo Sigal, Argentina's Deputy Secretary for Economic Integration of the Americas and Mercosur.
"The relation between Argentina and Brazil is for us the heart of any regional integration process and the hardcore on which to support the Mercosur and Union of South American Nations construction process", said Sigal during a Mercosur seminar this week in Buenos Aires.
"We are convinced this is the path and for Argentina this is not to the detriment of junior members with weaker economies, but a fact of reality," added Sigal in direct reference to the repeated complaints from Uruguay and Paraguay who feel pushed aside from Mercosur decisions by the two senior members' team.
Mercosur is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay as full members, with Venezuela in the process of admission, plus Chile, Bolivia, Peru as associate members.
"If Argentina and Brazil do no coordinate their policies, do not have political coincidences, even if we agree with other countries, it won't be possible to advance along the path of integration".
And this is because according to Sigal, Argentina and Brazil "represent and express half of South America" be it in "GDP, population, national resources, as well as trade and cultural affairs".
"This is something we do not hide, but rather on the contrary we openly discuss it with Mercosur junior members. We're determined to strengthen the privileged relation between Argentina and Brazil, otherwise there's no chance of developing regional integration."
However in spite of Mr. Sigal's enthusiasm about the privileged relation with Brazil, the Argentine opposition has consistently argued that President Kirchner's administration foreign policy has more shortcomings than successes.
Former Economy minister Roberto Lavagna who is considered the architect of the current Argentine four years running recovery and is planning to dispute the presidency from the Kirchner family next October insists that Argentina's "normal" international relations are limited to Venezuela's Hugo Chavez regime and Spain's Socialist government of Rodriguez Zapatero.
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