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April 24, 2017
Monday, March 20, 2017

Macri, Cartes discuss drug trafficking

Argentina''s President Mauricio Macri (L) and Paraguay''s President Horacio Cartes in Paraguay, yesterday.
President Mauricio Macri and his Paraguayan counterpart President Horacio Cartes yesterday met in Asunción for the second bi-national meeting with ministers and governors, using the opportunity to demand more integration between both nations and with their Mercosur partners (Uruguay and Brazil).
The heads of state also signed agreements to cooperate in several issues and especially highlighted the fight against drug and human trafficking as one of the priorities in their administrations.
The first to speak was the Argentine president, who talked about “insecurity and the fight against organised crime and drug trafficking.” Macri also expressed that it has been eight years “since the committee that was formed (to fight them) didn’t work together against something that attacks the heart of society; the family.”
At the meeting, Macri mentioned a list of topics, to find joint answers to increasing connectivity, to improve the waterway that communicates both countries, to strengthen the joint energy model and to fight organised crime and human trafficking problems.
“My only obsession is to create progress opportunities for Argentines and Paraguayans,” concluded Macri.
Later, President Cartes thanked the opportunity “to have an open dialogue and to embrace even more the historical ties” between Argentina and Paraguay. Cartes also urged for a deepening of the Mercosur regional alliance.
“Mercosur must resume its foundational goals,” expressed Cartes and called to “dismantle the inter-Mercosur obstacles that still limit our commerce.” In the same sense that his Mercosur partners already did, Cartes explained that in this new stage, the four countries look forward to “a more dynamic Mercosur agreement” that can get closer to the European Union and the Pacific Alliance.
Such an approach is one of Macri’s priorities.
In reference to one of the thorny issues between Asunción and Buenos Aires, Cartes said that the two leaders had “addressed the aspects that concern hydroelectric integration such as Yacyretá binational entity. It’s necessary to make possible the fairest possible use of the energy and the solution of the divergent issues, as well as to move forward on works that will increase the capacity and production of this monumental dam.”
Argentina contends that Paraguay owes it billions for the construction of the dam, which was built on a shared stretch of the Paraná river. Paraguay does not recognise that debt and there have been difficulties for years in coming to an agreement over the amount of the debt, if any.

— Herald with Télam
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