From Foz do Iguaçu City, President Lula da Silva reiterated a call to revive the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), an integration block that comprises Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
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Accompanied by the Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez, Lula made the remarks during a speech to mark the entry of Enio Verri as the new Brazilian director of the Itaipu binational hydroelectric plant, which was built 50 years ago by the two neighboring countries.
The bilateral treaty that created the hydroelectric plant is a prime example of South American integration, noted Lula, saying that Brazil has the obligation to help the economic growth of smaller neighbors lacking in industrial and technological development.
One of his foreign policy goals, he said, will be the revival of UNASUR, a mechanism that can serve to guarantee dialogue and stability between South American countries.
Lula said he has "the firm will to reorganize UNASUR" to ensure regional peace and tranquility so that the focus can be placed on eradicating poverty and promoting development.
He also urged the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), which gathers Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, to remain united so as to have "more power to negotiate."
Located in the Parana River region, on the border between Paraguay and Brazil, the Itaipu hydroelectric plant began operating in 1984 and is the second largest of its kind in the world.