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ARGENTINA | 12-08-2021 14:39

President Fernández to host Lacalle Pou amid Mercosur tensions

Alberto Fernández will host Luis Lacalle Pou at the Olivos presidential residence on Friday, with tensions over Mercosur's future likely to be discussed.

President Alberto Fernández will host his Uruguayan counterpart Luis Lacalle Pou on Friday at the Olivos presidential residence, sources inside both governments have confirmed.

The talks, which come with tensions rife in the Mercosur trade blocks, will also be attended by Uruguay's Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo and Argentina's Felipe Solá. A number of bilateral issues are expected to be on the table, including differences over the direction of the Latin American trade bloc's future.

"It is confirmed. It will take place at Olivos, it is not yet known whether lunch or dinner," replied an Argentine diplomatic source when consulted about the meeting on the outskirts on Buenos Aires.

Another government source in Montevideo revealed that the get-together has been planned as returning the favour, after the two leaders shared a relaxed and successful asado in Colonia de Sacremento last November. 

Fernández and Lacalle Pou have known each other for a long time and maintain a good working relationship, though they have strong differences over the future of Mercosur, with the Uruguayan leader seeking permission for member states to negotiate trade deals independently. The issue came to a head during the bloc's last summit in July, with crossed words between the leaders.

– TIMES/AFP

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