Brasilia, Dec 20.- Representatives of the member nations of MERCOSUR continue today the preparatory meetings of the 51st biannual Summit of the sub-regional bloc, with the aim of sealing a trade agreement with the European Union (EU) tomorrow, which is still uncertain after long years of negotiations.
The Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), considered one of the most effective trade pacts in the region, is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela; and has associated countries like Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Today, foreign and finance ministers, and central bank presidents, members of the Common Market Council, will meet, while the Summit of heads of State and the associate States will take place on Thursday.
According to the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, the Summit, which President Michel Temer will host, will be attended by the leaders of Argentina, Mauricio Macri; Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez; and Paraguay, Horacio Cartes.
The presidents of Bolivia, Evo Morales, whose country is in the process of joining MERCOSUR, and Guyana, David Granger, will be also present. Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Suriname, which have the status of associated States, will be represented by ministers or deputy ministers.
Venezuela will be absent, as last August, the countries of the so-called triple alliance that makeup MERCOSUR suspended that South American nation from the economic bloc for an indefinite period, a political decision based on an alleged 'rupture of democratic order' that the Venezuelan government has rejected energetically.
The essential objective of the meeting will be to seal the commercial agreement with the EU, whose negotiations have lasted almost two decades; however, everything points to the fact that details can be finalized, but that it will not be until the beginning of next year that this effort will be possible. (Prensa Latina)