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Chairman of the EEC Board, Tigran Sargsyan, discussed development of cooperation between the EAEU and MERCOSUR with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina Susana Malcorra

Chairman of the EEC Board, Tigran Sargsyan, discussed development of cooperation between the EAEU and MERCOSUR with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina Susana Malcorra

4/14/2016

On April 12, the Eurasian Economic Commission held a working meeting between the Chairman of the Eurasian Economic Commission Tigran Sargsyan and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of the Argentine Republic, Susana Malcorra.

Opening the meeting, the Chairman of the EEC Board highlighted that it was a great honour to receive such a high-level delegation of Argentine officials at the EEC. Tigran Sargsyan noted the successful interaction of the Commission and the Administration of the former President of Argentina. "We hope not only to continue but also to deepen our traditionally friendly relations with Argentina under the current head of State, Mauricio Macri,” Tigran Sargsyan said.

The Chairman of the EEC Board recounted the priorities of the Commission’s work. He noted that, while the EAEU countries have different economic levels and populations, they all have an equal vote; the EEC Board is based on the principle of equality of representation. "This year, Kazakhstan is chairing the EAEU bodies and Armenia, a small country, is heading the EEC Board," Tigran Sargsyan said. “But the Republic of Armenia can also influence all decisions made by the Commission.”

According to the Chairman of the EEC Board, the priority of the Commission's international activities in Latin America is the establishment of effective cooperation with MERCOSUR, one of the key members of which is Argentina. "We hope that your visit will serve as an additional impetus for the expansion and strengthening of our ties. The EAEU countries jointly with the EEC should elaborate a strategy for interaction with Argentina and the MERCOSUR countries,” Tigran Sargsyan said.

In turn, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina, Susana Malcorra, thanked the EEC for their warm reception and the opportunity to discuss strengthening and broadening ties with the Eurasian region: the EAEU countries. She noted the importance of developing cooperation, taking into account the key challenges posed by the new Administration of the country. They include finding new opportunities in trade and investment for the development of Argentina, and its integration into the world economy.

The Parties expressed their interest in strengthening regional ties, and establishing cooperation between the EAEU and MERCOSUR. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina drew parallels between the functioning of the two associations. "No single country in the 21st century can cope with all challenges alone, they must integrate,” Susana Malcorra said. Moreover, the strong ties between Argentina and Armenia could be used as an additional advantage in establishing interaction between the EAEU and MERCOSUR.

The Chairman of the EEC Board recalled that the Commission had previously prepared a draft memorandum of cooperation on trade and economic issues and had sent it to MERCOSUR for consideration. The EEC hopes that the resumption of negotiations on the signing of the memorandum with the assistance of the new Argentine Government will contribute to further development of the partnership between the two integration associations, as well as between the countries within them.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina, Uruguay, who is currently the Chairman of the Association, will soon answer the Commission's proposals. In addition, this issue will be raised by the Argentinean Party on April 25 in Montevideo at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the MERCOSUR Member States.

Susana Malcorra stated that Argentina was ready to participate in all mutually beneficial projects with its partners in the EAEU. "Argentina is ready to assume the role of the driving force to promote relations between the EAEU and MERCOSUR. From my side, you can be assured of a reliable partner in Argentina and MERCOSUR. The opportunities within the framework of our cooperation must be mutually beneficial and positively impact on the citizens of our countries in our integration associations. We must use all the tools for advancing our cooperation," said Susana Malcorra.

As a result of the meeting, the Parties agreed to continue the interaction between the EAEU and MERCOSUR. In addition, Susana Malcorra invited Tigran Sargsyan to participate in the aforementioned meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the MERCOSUR Member States, which is to be held to mark the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on the establishment of MERCOSUR.

For reference:

MERCOSUR is the common market of the countries of South America. The Latin American integration association was established in 1991. The MERCOSUR members are currently Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. A sixth country, Bolivia, is currently in the process of joining the bloc. The Associate members of the Association are Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname. Mexico and New Zealand have observer status. The total GDP of the MERCOSUR States in 2014 totalled 3.2 trillion US dollars. The population of the countries of the Association is over 285 million people.