LatinNews Daily - 12 September 2023

In brief: Brazil’s Lula urges meeting on EU-Mercosur deal

* Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has called for a meeting with leaders from the European Union (EU) to urgently decide the fate of the free trade agreement between the EU and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) regional trade bloc which includes Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Lula reiterated his aim to ratify the deal while Brazil holds the six-month rotating presidency of Mercosur and said that the coming months will be the time to decide “yes or no”, whether to “agree on the deal or stop discussing the deal” after 22 years of negotiations. Lula made these comments in a press conference in India on 11 September, after the conclusion of the G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi on 9-10 September. On the sidelines of the summit, Lula expressed his urgency to close the deal in meetings with France’s President Emmanuel Macron and the presidents of two core EU institutions – Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the supra-national executive branch, and Charles Michel, president of the European Council, which coordinates the policy agenda of the European Commission and the member states’ governments.

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