Mon, 19 Apr 2021

BUENOS AIRES, March 13 (Xinhua) -- South American trade bloc Southern Common Market (Mercosur) Summit of Heads of State will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Argentine Foreign Ministry reported on Saturday.

"Given the health situation affecting the countries of the region, President Alberto Fernandez instructed Foreign Minister Felipe Sola to inform his Mercosur peers that the meeting to mark 30 years of the bloc, scheduled for March 26 in Buenos Aires, will take place virtually," the Foreign Ministry explained in a statement.

Argentina currently holds the bloc's rotating presidency.

The ministry said that the decision was enacted "so that the meeting of presidents and foreign ministers can take place in the correct conditions, fostering dialogue and the exchange of ideas between nations."

The event will celebrate 30 years since the creation of Mercosur, which was founded on March 26, 1991, with the signing of the Treaty of Asuncion in Paraguay by the presidents of its four founding countries: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

Other countries associated with Mercosur are Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Chile and Suriname, and Bolivia is currently in the process of becoming a member.

Argentina has held the rotating presidency of Mercosur since Dec. 16, 2020.

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