BERLIN – The German chancellor has said she wants to exploit the untapped potential in relations between her country and Uruguay in the fields of green economy, energy efficiency, and trade.
Angela Merkel made the comments in her Saturday video podcast ahead of Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez’s upcoming visit to Berlin.
“His visit is very important,” said Merkel, adding that German-Uruguayan relations were not being used to their potential.
She said Germans mainly linked Uruguay “with soccer, and with good soccer,” but there were other areas that united both nations.
There were foundations that Germany and Uruguay shared, according to the chancellor, such as diplomatic values, the struggle for equality for women and respect for the environment.
She said cooperation could be increased on green economy and trade, so it would be positive to establish contact with Mercosur looking toward a possible trade agreement between the European Union and the Latin American trade organization.
The German leader did, however, acknowledge this could be “complex,” and said any deals had to be “fair” and in the interests of both parties.
She said she would use Vazquez’s visit to gain an understanding of Uruguay’s first-hand experience regarding the legalization of marijuana, though ruled out Germany adopting a similar approach.
The Uruguayan president was scheduled to meet Merkel and his German counterpart, Joachim Gauck, on Wednesday.
He was also expected to visit Hamburg in northern Germany for a conference on Uruguay as a reliable partner in Latin America.
The Uruguayan head of state was to visit Germany as part of a European tour that included stops in Finland and Russia between Feb. 7-17.