Uruguay – Conversation between Franck Riester and Uruguay’s minister of foreign relations (6 December 2020)


Franck Riester, Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke yesterday with Francisco Bustillo Bonasso, Minister of Foreign Relations of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. This conversation falls within the framework of an excellent bilateral relationship sustained by numerous cooperative projects.

Mr. Riester and Mr. Bustillo discussed the draft free trade agreement between the EU and Mercosur, the Common Market of the South, while Mr. Bustillo is visiting Europe in his capacity as president pro tempore of Mercosur. The minister delegate reaffirmed that our country could not support this agreement as it stands, notably in light of the risk that the agreement could lead to an increase in imported deforestation within the European Union. The two ministers agreed to continue their discussions, in collaboration with the European Commission, in order to take these concerns into consideration.

Mr. Riester and Mr. Bustillo reaffirmed France and Uruguay’s shared attachment to multilateralism and their shared vision of many global issues, including health and the environment. They discussed the shared environmental commitments that our two countries will promote at the Climate Ambition Summit in December, in preparation for the ambitious 2021 international environmental agenda (IUCN Marseille; COP15 Kunming; COP26 Glasgow).

With respect to regional issues in Latin America, Mr. Riester and Mr. Bustillo shared their concerns with respect to the situation in Venezuela, while a parliamentary election without any democratic guarantees took place that day.

The ministers discussed the fruitful bilateral relations focused on scientific and academic cooperation and the outstanding role of the Institut Pasteur in Montevideo, as well as the promotion of multilingualism and French language and culture. They highlighted opportunities for strengthening economic and trade cooperation between France and Uruguay, notably in the environmental and renewable energy sectors.