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Argentina; Brazil: Broad Range of Cooperation Agreements Signed

(Apr. 2, 2008) In February 2008, in Buenos Aires, the President of Brazil, Luiz InĂ¡cio Lula da Silva, and the President of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez Kirchner, signed cooperation agreements to battle poverty and hunger and to promote social justice, social inclusion, and decent jobs. The agreements cover macroeconomic coordination and sectoral policies; consultations on World Trade Organization issues; bilateral trade integration consultations; payment systems for bilateral trade in local currencies; and cooperation between the Brazilian National Development Bank and the Argentine National Bank.

An agreement was also reached on technical and infrastructural projects, covering cooperation in space and in the development of the Argentine-Brazilian ocean-monitoring satellite, the Bi-National Nanotechnology Center, and a new and renewable energy program. The agreement also addresses cooperation in the Garabi and other hydroelectric projects; the Argentina-Brazil electric power grid; re-gasification; new bridges on the Uruguay River; the Paso de los Libres-Uruguayana bridges; railway integration; defense task forces; joint production of the "Gaucho" vehicle; and aeronautics.

The two countries forged agreements on the recognition of equality in civil and political rights and on the creation of a high-level group on freedom of movement and also agreed on a project to establish an Argentine-Brazilian biopharmaceutical technology company.

Both Presidents reaffirmed, inter alia, their firm commitment to improve and strengthen democracy in their countries and their conviction that democracy, pluralism, and respect for individual liberties are factors for progress, prosperity, and social peace. They also reiterated their governments' commitment to defend the principles of the universality, indivisibility, and interdependence of human rights and fundamental liberties. (Argentine, Brazilian Presidents Sign Cooperation Agreements in Buenos Aires, Executive Office of the President of Argentina, Feb. 22, 2008, Open Source Center, No. LAP20080223055002.)