December 12, 2013
Country will refrain from returning to mercosur meetingsWednesday, August 21, 2013
Paraguay’s Cartes will attend Unasur summit
ASUNCIÓN — Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes will be present at the Unasur summit in Suriname on August 30, but will not attend to Mercosur meetings immediately, new Paraguayan Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga said yesterday.
Loizaga confirmed that the trip to Suriname will be Cartes’ first international trip since taking office on August, 15.
Paraguay was readmitted into Mercosur and Unasur last week after being suspended for more than a year following the ouster of former president Fernando Lugo, which several Latin American countries considered to be an “institutional coup.” Venezuela was allowed to enter Mercosur during the same summit in which Paraguay’s suspension was voted.
“We are going to start working with Mercosur’s foreign ministers to find the most timely solution, we are going to take our time to do it,” Loizaga said yesterday.
He said, however, that with Unasur “we are looking ahead and (the summit at Suriname) is a great opportunity to go back” to the regional bloc.
Paraguay will attend Suriname “with a spirit of contributing to the revitalization” of relations “at multilateral, regional and subregional” levels, explained the chancellor.
Cartes asked his bloc counterparts to “be aware that there are rights and principles and obligations” to be observed.
Relations between Venezuela and Paraguay soured after Asunción accused Caracas of meddling in its domestic affairs by encouraging military leaders to stand up for Lugo after his ouster.
Yesterday, Loizaga also announced that the new Paraguayan president will travel to the UN General Assembly on September 24, with a three-day agenda that will include bilateral meetings with “heads of state from the region and Europe.”
“We will take maximum advantage of their presence (at the UN) to have bilateral relations with other countries," he said.
Cartes’ diplomacy has involved putting the emphasis on bilateral relations as a way to compensate for the regional isolation Paraguay has suffered in the last 14 months.