Lula commits to Bolivia's acceptance into Mercosur
The former president of Brazil and current presidential candidate made the announcement after meeting with Bolivian President Luis Arce on Sept. 5.
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Lula's hope to bring Bolivia into Mercosur upon his election as president of Brazil was confirmed by former Chancellor Celso Amorin, after a meeting between the President of Bolivia Luis Arce and Lula in a hotel in Sao Paulo.
"Lula is committed, if elected, to accelerate the integration of Bolivia to Mercosur, which is very important for international relations," Amorin said.
The process for Bolivia's entry into Mercosur began more than a decade ago and was concluded by Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, but is still pending ratification by Brazil's Congress.
Amorin, who was also Minister of Foreign Affairs during the eight years that Lula was president (2003-2010) said that if Lula wins, he will make efforts so that the Brazilian Congress approves Bolivia's full membership to the regional bloc.
"I have no doubt that Lula will make that effort, it is very important for Bolivia and for us," added Amorin in further statements to members of the press.
With this acceptance, the diplomat stressed that it will "facilitate" contact with the Andean Community (CAN), which is "being strengthened."
In the meeting between Lula and Arce, economic issues were also discussed, such as "the possibility of investment in infrastructure," "the gas" that Brazil imports from the Andean country, the participation and cooperation of both countries regarding the trade of lithium, of which Bolivia has large reserves.
The Bolivian president and the presidential candidate also exchanged experiences on social programs, the fight against hunger and the problem in the Amazon, situations shared by both countries.
Elections in Brazil happen on Oct. 2, and Lula currently has a 10-point advantage over the ultra-right-wing and current president Jair Bolsonaro.