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Germany urges Brazil with an EU/Mercosur trade agreement

Staff writer |
Germany wants to speed negotiations for a free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, said Foreign minister Walter Steinmeier in Brasilia.

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The agreement has been pending since 1999 when discussions started but so far have been unable to reach a deal or commit a date because of internal problems from both sides.

"In Germany the administration of Chancellor Merkel is very much interested in speeding the EU/Mercosur trade agreement and we hope in can be achieved in the near future. We are doing our upmost to that effect," said Minister Steinmeier after holding a meeting with President Dilma Rousseff and his Brazilian counterpart Mauro Vieira, in Brasilia.

Steinmeier stopped in Brazil as part of a South American tour that also includes Peru and Colombia, but has left out Argentina and Venezuela.

The minister also admitted having addressed with President Rousseff the current situation of other Mercosur members, particularly the reluctant Argentina and Venezuela. Uruguay and Paraguay are aligned behind Brazil and are anxious to reach an overall agreement with the EU.

Currently Mercosur is waiting for the EU to present its proposals for tariff reductions, an issue that has been delayed because of the renewal of the European commission new authorities.

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