The Meeting between Luis Lacalle Pou and Joe Biden Sparks Interest in Potential Rapprochement
The president of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, surprised everyone on Tuesday with an impromptu visit to the White House, where he had a warm meeting with his counterpart, Joe Biden.
The episode has generated significant interest from the United States in the South American country, which is being praised for its exceptional leadership in the region.
“The country has attracted a lot of attention, not only because of its democratic history and legal stability but also due to its international operations, business climate, and economic regulations,” commented the Secretary of the Presidency, Álvaro Delgado. He hinted at the possibility of a closer relationship between the two parties.
Álvaro Delgado hinted at the potential for a closer relationship between the parties (EFE)
The US government, on the other hand, stated that “President Biden and President Lacalle Pou also explored ways to expand our bilateral economic relationship, increase efforts to combat climate change, and further strengthen security cooperation.”
Uruguay’s appeal extends not only to the White House but also to “numerous investors” whom Lacalle Pou encountered during his visit, expressing their desire to become “strategic partners,” added the Uruguayan spokesman.
The meeting between the leaders took place during a private trip by Lacalle Pou to New York, where he was awarded the gold insignia of the Americas Society.
Luis Lacalle Pou’s surprise visit occurred during his private trip to New York, where he received the Gold Badge of the Americas Society – Council of the Americas (AS-COA)
However, upon his arrival at Newark airport on Monday morning, the White House was informed of the president’s presence, and the possibility of a meeting began to be considered, according to Uruguayan government sources.
The formal invitation was extended by Washington the next day, and hours later, the meeting took place in the renowned Oval Office.
As reported by the White House, during the meeting, Biden praised his counterpart for his unwavering support for Ukraine, his defense of fundamental rights in Venezuela, and his commitment to regional economic integration amidst tensions with neighboring countries.
Furthermore, “the President pledged to explore ways to improve Uruguay’s access to the US market for bovine meat, which is currently limited by a quota system,” they added.
However, the parties agreed to keep a low profile instead of divulging the specific details discussed during their hour and a half conversation. “It is better to iron out the issues rather than focus on a photo opportunity,” commented a Uruguayan diplomat to Infobae.
Biden praised Uruguay’s leadership in the region and its role as a worldwide model for democratic governance (REUTERS)
These statements have sparked speculation about the possibility of a free trade agreement (FTA), something that Uruguay has previously expressed interest in and is not ruled out by the US.
“It is in our national interest to expand export opportunities for products made and grown in the United States with like-minded countries and promote more collaborative efforts,” Democratic Senator Bob Menendez and Republican Senator Rob Portman said in a December letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, urging him to explore trade negotiations with countries in the region.
(With information from EFE)