Paraguay, Venezuela to meet on Mercosur – Paraguay

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Paraguayan and Venezuelan government representatives plan to reestablish dialog during their visit at the United Nations General Assembly in New York after Venezuela was accepted to Mercosur, South America’s trading block, without Paraguay’s approval.

“We are working on it. We all want this to be resolved as quickly as possible,” Paraguay’s vice minister of foreign relations, Manuel Maria Caceres, said. “There will be some meetings at a ministerial level this week,” he added, speaking at Columbia University’s World Leaders Forum.

Paraguay was suspended from Mercosur following the impeachment of President Fernando Lugo by the Paraguayan Senate last year, a move considered anti-democratic by the bloc’s members. Venezuela was then admitted without Paraguay’s consent, causing a judicial problem.

Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes took power in August, allowing the country to rejoin the Mercosur trading bloc composed of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.

“There is a compromise to make an effort to normalize the bilateral relations,” Caceres told Reuters.

A day after taking power, Cartes said Paraguay would rejoin Mercosur once Mercosur’s foreign ministers found a resolution to the judicial problem caused when Venezuela joined without its presence or approval.

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