GEORGETOWN, Guyana (GINA) — Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett and her counterparts from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Venezuela, on Thursday signed a framework agreement paving the way for Guyana to join the Southern Customs Union (MERCOSUR) as an associate member.
Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett speaking after Guyana was accepted as an associate member of MERCOSUR
A foreign ministry release stated that the initiative arose out of the decision taken by the Council of Ministers at the MERCOSUR summit held in Brasilia in December 2012 to foster and strengthen the relationship between MERCOSUR and Guyana. Among the areas covered by the framework association agreement are: political, economic, trade, productive development, cultural and other cooperation issues.
Following the signing of the agreement, Rodrigues-Birkett thanked her colleague foreign ministers for welcoming Guyana into the MERCOSUR family.
“Separated by history and culture in the past, Guyana has made a conscious decision to pursue its continental destiny and signing this agreement today marks another step in this direction,” she said.
She praised the work done by the outgoing chairman of MERCOSUR, foreign minister of Uruguay Luis Almagro, and the staff of the MERCOSUR Secretariat for completing the process in such a short space of time. Guyana applied for associate member status six months ago.