MONTEVIDEO – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy arrived on Tuesday in the Uruguayan capital on his first official visit to this country, during which he will meet with President Tabare Vazquez.
The Spanish air force jet carrying Rajoy landed at the Carrasco-General Cesareo Airport in Montevideo at 4:30 pm after departing from Sao Paulo, where the premier had wrapped up a two-day visit to Brazil.
Rajoy was welcomed at the airport by Spain’s ambassador to Uruguay, Roberto Varela, and the head of the Uruguayan diplomatic delegation in Madrid, Francisco Bustillo.
After the welcoming formalities, the premier went to the airport’s military esplanade to be received by Uruguay’s deputy foreign minister, Jose Luis Cancela.
Rajoy’s first official act in Uruguay was scheduled to be to attend a reception with Spanish citizens living here, to be held at the residence of the Spanish envoy in Montevideo.
On Thursday, the prime minister will meet with Vazquez to discuss bilateral relations of all kinds, the negotiations on the accord between the European Union and Mercosur, as well as assorted issues of interest to both governments.
Regarding the EU-Mercosur pact, the Spanish government says that, just as Rajoy had expressed to Brazilian President Michel Temer on Monday, the premier will guarantee Vazquez that Spain will do everything in its power to ensure that the talks conclude successfully and as soon as possible.
In the economic sphere, the two leaders will analyze the potential contribution of Spanish companies to the Uruguayan government’s economic development plans.
Along those lines, before meeting with Vazquez, Rajoy will preside over the closing session of a bilateral business forum at which the opportunities and challenges of Spanish companies operating in Uruguay are to be discussed.
This is the first official visit to Uruguay by a Spanish government leader since Jose Maria Aznar traveled to the South American nation in 1998.