MercoPress | 22 May 2020
Argentina reaffirms commitment to Mercosur but remains cautious about EU accord
Argentine Foreign Minister Felipe Solá reaffirmed on Thursday the decision of president Alberto Fernandez’s government to continue being part of Mercosur. When asked about links with the other member countries of the bloc, Solá said that a “rupture or union depends on the political will of the governments and our will is, that we are not on the rupture path”
Speaking to a Buenos Aires radio station, Solá said that the “alleged controversy” regarding the Mercosur issue “began in April, but it was later moderated by the other members. No one wants to break up the bloc. The future will depend on the ability to coexists in such an uncertain world”
Regarding the bilateral relationship with Brazil, the foreign minister, stressed that “we do not interfere or intervene in internal policy issues, but yes we have had talks in Mercosur, because Brazil and Uruguay are pushing strongly for agreements with third countries, and we have said that this is not the time to press forward, because we have great doubts about where we will go, and what will be convenient when we are faced with the new normality”
Solá was emphatic and said that “Brazil is our first market for exports, we are the fourth for them. We look at the subject carefully, and try to define the Argentine interests, if we are alone we will not be able to go out to the world that comes, it will be a world of regions. ”
As to agreements with other countries or blocks, the foreign minister claimed that “last year, former president Mauricio Macri signed the Mercosur agreement with the European Union and for the first time Argentina gave in, saying that each country could reach bilateral agreement with third parties, which for us is a mistake. We will have to see if Parliament approves it or not.”
Regarding a treaty with South Korea, Sola stated that “we have serious access problems to that market because of sanitary problems or barriers”
“We could never seriously access the South Korean market. We asked Brazil if they wanted to make an agreement, to discuss tariffs and real access, but they finally dropped the initiative.
That reinforced our idea that under such circumstances we are not interested”, he concluded.