Spain and Brazil leaders to discuss EU-Mercosur deal at COP

Spain and Brazil leaders to discuss EU-Mercosur deal at COP

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Spain’s re-elected Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez poses with new members of the government for a family photo before their first cabinet meeting at Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, November 22, 2023. REUTERS/Juan Medina/File Photo

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MADRID/BRASILIA (Reuters) – Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will meet at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai to discuss the conclusion of negotiations on a long-awaited trade deal between the European Union and Mercosur, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

The sources said the time of their meeting has not been decided yet, but it is expected to be on Friday.

The trade treaty has been two decades in the making. An agreement in principle was reached in 2019, but additional environmental commitments demanded by the EU and new concessions sought by Brazil and Argentina prolonged the negotiations.

Brazil and Spain, which respectively hold the temporary presidency of Mercosur and of the European Union until the end of this year, consider sealing the deal a priority.

The governments of Mercosur, which also includes Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, hope to announce the conclusion of negotiations at their annual presidential summit on Dec. 7 in Rio de Janeiro.

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