(CNN Spanish) — The President of Brazil, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, made a state visit to Uruguay on Wednesday, where he met with President Luis Lacalle Pou.
Lula said that he considered Uruguay’s proposals to achieve greater trade opening “fair”, but said that Mercosur should first finish negotiating the free trade agreement with the European Union, and then start negotiating with China.
“We are going to intensify the talks and we are going to sign that agreement so that we can immediately discuss an agreement between China and Mercosur. And I believe that it is possible. We want to talk with Mercosur and talk with our Chinese friends and negotiate a Mercosur-China agreement Lula said.
The Uruguayan government has promoted a bilateral negotiation for a free trade agreement with Beijing for several months. The president of Uruguay pointed out that the country cannot “stand still in terms of international relations.”
During his stay in Montevideo, Lula ate barbecue with his delegation and the Uruguayan ministers. In addition, he gave a brief speech to leftist militants in the center of the city, and later met with what he described as his “brother”, former Uruguayan president José “Pepe” Mujica.
Lula also referred to his friendship with the late former Uruguayan president Tabaré Vázquez.
“My relationship with heads of state does not go through a vision of ideological biases. Presidents don’t need to think like me, they don’t need to like me personally. I always tell all the presidents that in the relationship between two leaders there are two things to do: respect for the sovereignty of the countries and the desire to do good for both countries,” he said.
Lula also pointed out that he had returned to the Presidency of Brazil not only to work for his people, but also for a new international governance and for the union of Latin America.