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07/03/2018 - 18:45hs

Brazil, Lebanon to push for deal with Mercosur

Brazilian FM Aloysio Nunes and Lebanese president Michel Aoun agreed to give added political momentum towards a free-trade treaty between the South American bloc and the Arab country.

São Paulo – Brazil’s foreign minister Aloysio Nunes met with Lebanon’s president Michel Aoun in Beirut this Tuesday (6), the final day of the FM’s tour of four Middle East countries.

The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Nunes and Aoun “agreed to give added political momentum” towards a Mercosur-Lebanon free-trade agreement. It also quoted both Nunes and Aoun as saying there are “no significant obstacles to a deal being reached soon.” Mercosur-Lebanon talks have been underway since 2014.

For over a decade now, the Mercosur has been working on trade agreements with Arab countries, but the only one in effect is with Egypt. An agreement with Palestine still pends ratification by all parties.

Nunes and Aoun also discussed the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which includes a Brazilian Navy task force. Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Lebanon president expressed concerns over an eventual reduction of the task force’s personnel, which might be detrimental to stability in the country.

On the eve of the meeting, FM Nunes visited the Brazilian Navy’s Barroso corvette, the task force’s command ship.

Nunes has been to Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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