BRASILIA – Brazilian President Michel Temer welcomed on Monday his Paraguayan counterpart, Horacio Cartes, at the Planalto Palace for a state visit.
Cartes was greeted by Temer at the top of a ramp leading into the palace, where both heads of state listened to their national anthems and watched an artillery salute.
After greeting delegation members, Cartes and Temer moved to the presidential office for a private discussion prior to a meeting with their ministers.
Officials said the presidents planned to discuss bilateral issues, including trade and the fight against organized crime groups along the border.
Brazilian and Paraguayan law enforcement agencies have increased operations along the 1,365-kilometer (848-mile) border, which is one of South America’s main areas for smuggling, drug trafficking and gun running.
Temer and Cartes were also expected to talk about the situation in Venezuela, a country recently suspended from the Mercosur trade bloc.
Brazil and Paraguay are founding members of Mercosur, along with Argentina and Uruguay, and Brazil currently occupies the bloc’s rotating presidency.
Temer and Cartes were scheduled to head later to the Itamaraty Palace, headquarters of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, for lunch.
During his visit, Cartes will also meet with Brazilian business leaders at the National Confederation of Industries, members of Congress and Supreme Court justices.
The president is scheduled to return to Asuncion later in the day.