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Brazil, Portugal foster cooperation MERCOSUR-EU

Prensa Latina, Cuba

Brazil, Portugal Foster Cooperation MERCOSUR-EU

10 August 2006

Brasilia, 10 (Prensa Latina) Brazil requested Portugal to support an agreement between the Southern Common Market and European Union.

The issue topped the agenda of the meeting between Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, at the Planalto Palace (executive headquarters) in Brasilia on Thursday.

Lula said he believed pragmatism and flexibility will ensure that both parties reach an interregional partnership before 2006, according to state-run Agencia Brasil news agency.

He vehemently criticized the lack of political will of wealthy nations to successfully close the World Trade Organization-sponsored Round of Doha talks, and ratified his country s endeavors for an agreement.

Jose Socrates highly praised economic stability in Brazil and said Portuguese investors were satisfied and keen on investing there.

On immigration, Socrates pledge to allow 6,500 undocumented Brazilians living in Portugal to legalize their residence for a year in a three-month dateline so they can work.

A previous agreement between these two nations legalized the situation of 18,000 Brazilians who entered Lisbon before July 11, 2003.

The Portuguese Premier is scheduled to visit Sao Paulo today, and will tour an oil facility of PETROBRAS firm in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

Annual trade between Portugal and Brazil amounts to 558 million dollars.

Portugal is the seventh major investor in Brasilia, accounting for nearly eight billion dollars.