Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is welcoming the presidents of Mercosur member countries and associated states to the bloc's 55th summit assembly, in Vale dos Vinhedos, Rio Grande do Sul state, today (Dec. 5).
The plenary session is to be attended by Argentine President Mauricio Macri and Paraguay's Mario Abdo Benitez, and Uruguayan vice-President Lucia Topolansky, representing President Tabare Vasquez, who is undergoing cancer treatment.
After the floor meeting, the heads of state will sign diplomatic agreements about the mutual protection of geographical indications, police border cooperation, transport of hazardous goods, financial services, consumer's rights, and the reciprocal recognition of digital signatures. Representatives from member countries are also expected to discuss sustainable development, tourism, transnational crime, corruption, and efforts to streamline the bloc.
The Vale dos Vinhedos summit marks the end of Brazil's tenure as pro tempore president of Mercosur, which will be transferred to Paraguay for the next six month.
Mercosur is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Venezuela has been suspended since 2017, as it was found to have disrupted the democratic order and not complied with the clauses linked to human rights. The associated countries are Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guiana, and Suriname.
After the summit meeting, a vine planting ceremony will be held, to be followed by a lunch offered by Bolsonaro to the leaders. A press statement should be made early in the afternoon.
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