LatinNews Daily - 25 August 2023

In brief: Paraguay criticises Argentina over waterway toll

* Paraguay’s foreign ministry has stated that Argentina’s government has not complied with agreements made in a meeting between President Santiago Peña and Argentina’s Economy Minister Sergio Massa, who is also the presidential candidate for the ruling left-of-centre Unión por la Patria (UP) coalition. Peña, who took office on 15 August, received Massa in Asunción yesterday (24 August) and said the pair discussed issues including the binational Yacyretá hydroelectric complex, the Paraguay-Paraná waterway, and the construction of a new bridge between the two countries. Paraguay’s Foreign Minister Rubén Ramírez stated that an agreement had been reached on a schedule of payments for the debt that Argentina owes on Yacyretá and that Argentina would temporarily suspend the collection of tolls on the section of the Paraguay-Paraná waterway that passes through its territory. However, later that day, Paraguay’s foreign ministry issued a statement on social media, stating that it had “received with surprise and displeasure” an announcement from Argentina’s transport ministry that it would maintain toll collection on the waterway, despite what was agreed between Peña and Massa. The foreign ministry also noted that Argentina had not complied with the debt repayment obligations made in the same meeting. “Paraguay regrets this type of attitude, absolutely rejects the continuity of an illegal collection that violates international treaties and will work intensively to remedy this situation,” reads the statement.

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