President Alberto Fernández is seeking refuge from internal coalition bickering on the international stage, focusing on foreign relations and bypassing Frente de Todos’ back-and-forth over the ruling coalition’s electoral line-up.
Relegated from a role in the final definition, Argentina’s head of state is carrying out the tasks that suit him best in the last stage of his administration.
On Monday morning, the head of state shared a working breakfast with Paraguay’s President-Elect Santiago Peña, at the Quinta de Olivos residential residence. Later this afternoon, he departs Argentina for a trip to Brasília, where he and Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will try to give “a new impetus” to the Unasur regional political bloc.
Argentina’s president is also expected to make a stop in the Bolivian city of Yacuiba to see President Luis Arce and inaugurate new electricity works that run between the two nations on Thursday, stopping on his way back from Brasília.
Fernández hosted the recently elected Peña at his presidential residence, accompanied by Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero. Paraguay's Vice-President Hércules Pedro Alliana Rodríguez, diplomat and economist Rubén Darío Ramírez Lezcano, and former finance minister Lea Giménez also took part in the meeting.
According to a statement from the Presidency, the two sides expressed an interest in continuing to work on integration between the two countries," with Fernández confirming he would attend Peña’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held in Asunción on August 15.
During a two-hour meeting, the leaders also agreed on the objective of "strengthening democracies and contributing to the construction of a zone of peace and unity," as well as highlighting development options for the Mercosur and Unasur regional blocs.
Fernández’s trip to Brazil is focused on the development and rebooting of Unasur, an aim shared by Lula.
Argentina’s president will join nine other leaders, including Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro, in the Brazilian capital for the talks, which are described as “open agenda.”
The main objective of the meeting will be to resume high-level dialogue within South America and to identify "common denominators" between the region’s nations. After a summit, staged at the Itamaraty Palace, the heads of state will share a dinner at the Alvorada Palace.