MONTEVIDEO – Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez joined forces on Wednesday to finalize the association accord between the European Union and Mercosur this year, a target date about which both leaders said they were optimistic.
Rajoy and Vazquez met at the Executive Tower in Montevideo in the final hours of the Spanish leader’s trip to Uruguay, and they later appeared together at a press conference.
Bilateral relations of all kinds and the situations in their respective nations and in Latin America were analyzed by the pair and, in their talks, a central issue was the accord between the EU and Mercosur, the latter of which is comprised of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay.
Rajoy guaranteed Vazquez that Spain will continue pushing for the pact in the EU, adding that the accord will move the two regions closer together on the basis of shared values and that “they are poles of stability and prosperity in a tumultuous world.”
Rajoy went on to say that at the present time there is a “magnificent opportunity” to achieve the pact, adding that both parties believe that significant advances toward it are being made.
“We’re going to work intensively so that before yearend there will be a political accord that’s going to be good for companies and for the people, because looking abroad is always a source of economic growth, employment, wealth and wellbeing,” he said.
The Uruguayan leader, meanwhile, said that the two countries are intensively cooperating to move forward in a “thorough and decisive” way on the EU-Mercosur pact.
The two leaders also discussed the situation in Venezuela, with Rajoy saying “At all costs, we have to avoid a bloody confrontation in that country and the current situation requires the say being returned to the Venezuelan people and beginning to rebuild a national consensus as quickly as possible.”
The Uruguayan president lamented the deaths in Venezuela during recent protests, adding that the country’s problems must be resolved by the Venezuelans themselves via dialogue and agreement.