the war on Ukrainethe ratification of the free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and the Southern Common Market (mercosur) and investments in projects of various kinds were the focus of the meeting held this Saturday between the German Chancellor, Olaf Schölzand the Argentine president, Alberto Fernandez.
With this meeting, the head of the German government began a Latin American tour that will also take him to Chile and Brazil, where, in addition to other activities, he will hold meetings with their respective leaders, Gabriel Boric and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Precisely, the name of the latter resounded at the joint press conference between Scholz and Fernández at the Palacio San Martín, headquarters of the Argentine Foreign Ministry, as the great hope in the region to unlock the talks between the EU and Mercosur.
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“I think that (with Lula) we are in a better position to promote the agreement because the coincidences are greater” between the two blocs, especially in environmental matters, said Fernández, alluding to one of the great brakes in recent times: deforestation in the Amazon promoted by the former Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro.
According to Fernández, the ratification of the pact between the EU and Mercosur -which includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay- “It would make it possible to draw an axis that, in some way, strengthens multilateralism in a world that tends to become polarized.”
In Scholz’s opinion, it has “special importance” for both blocks to ratify the agreement reached on June 28, 2019 after 20 years of talks and, therefore, the “quick end of the negotiations” has become “an objective”.
“It is important that we have a constructive spirit. We must work side by side to find a way and for the negotiations to come to fruition”, commented.
UKRAINE ON THE TABLE
Undoubtedly, one of the most repeated issues at the press conference was the recent shipment of European weapons to Ukraine to fight Russia.
The two leaders acknowledged that the Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory was present in their conversation, in which both expressed their views.
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In this sense, Scholz assured that his government will “everything” everything possible to avoid an escalation of war between Russia and the NATO member countries, after this week its Executive authorized the shipment of Leopard 2 type tanks to Ukraine.
“We have done everything so that there is no escalation of this war leading to a conflict between Russia and the NATO states. We are going to do everything so that this does not happen.” said the German chancellor, who insisted that it is a conflict between Moscow and kyiv, which does not prevent other countries from supporting Ukraine with help of various kinds.
For his part, Fernández asserted that the German chancellor knows his “look” regarding this issue, while stating that Latin American countries “They are not thinking of sending weapons to Ukraine or anywhere else” at war.
“It is an issue that we have to work on together. In the northern hemisphere, missiles fly and people die, but in the southern hemisphere this has an impact with higher costs and hunger. What I want is for Russia to understand the damage that all this is causing to the southern hemisphere.” expressed the Argentine president.
“I cannot comment on the decisions that other countries make, but what I am sure is that what both the chancellor and I want most is for peace to be restored as soon as possible”he added.
The existence in Argentina of lithium deposits, natural gas reserves and other ‘clean energies’, like green hydrogen, arouses the interest of German investors.
Scholz undertook this Latin American tour accompanied by a business delegation “of the highest level” as he defined, interested in knowing first-hand more about these exploitation projects.
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At the close of the business meeting that took place on the occasion of this visit, Fernández stressed that “between the north of Chile, the south of Bolivia and the north of Argentina there are two thirds of the lithium” worldwide, and it is necessary to work on it so that this activity is not only “extractivist, but producer”in reference to the batteries “that the world demands”.
The Argentine president stressed that “Germany is a privileged partner”, with which you hope to develop “a strategic association“that allows”To win” to both parties.
For this, he insisted, Argentina needs foreign investment that “bet” and allow the South American country “to promote all that wealth”.
Scholz concludes his visit to Buenos Aires this Sunday with a meeting with civil society and a visit to the Parque de la Memoria, a monument in homage to those who have fallen from state terrorism.
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