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Fri Dec 14, 2012, 03:36 AM

Bolivia Advances in Efforts to Become Full Member of Mercosur

12th December 2012

Bolivia Advances in Efforts to Become Full Member of Mercosur

Bolivia has signed the accession protocol for becoming a full member of South American customs bloc Mercosur, officials announced on Friday. Current Mercosur members will still have to ratify Bolivia’s entry to the group for it to become formalised.

The news comes just a few weeks after the organisation’s members - minus Paraguay, which remains under suspension - first tabled invites to both Bolivia and Ecuador. Along with Paraguay, Mercosur’s members include Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

“Evo, you are most welcome,” Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said to Bolivian President Evo Morales, in comments reported by MercoPress. “This has been good news for the summit. We have skipped years of negotiations with the Bolivian decision to sign the accesion protocol.”

Paraguayan officials, meanwhile, spoke out about not being able to formally weigh in on the invite to Bolivia, given Asunción’s current suspension. Current Paraguayan President Federico Franco told Argentine newspaper La Nación last week that any decisions taken by Mercosur without Paraguay are “illegal and illegitimate.”


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