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Uruguay President Vázquez Says Uruguay Seeking Improved Trade Ties With U.S.


Tells VOA that stronger bilateral trade relations could help Uruguay “expand education, improve health care, and generate jobs with adequate salaries”

Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006 – After meeting with President George W. Bush, Uruguay President Tabaré Vázquez appeared on Voice of America (VOA) to say that the two presidents had “made profound advances toward a better understanding between our two countries that will permit us to improve our commercial exchanges.”

Although establishing bilateral trade ties with the U.S. could go against the South American trade block Mercosur that Uruguay belongs to, Vázquez defended his country’s position. “Uruguay wants to remain in Mercosur,” he said, “but a better Mercosur for Uruguay, and we want to pursue free trade agreements outside the bloc.” He noted that stronger bilateral trade relations could help Uruguay “expand education, improve health care, and generate jobs with adequate salaries.”

Besides trade, Bush and Vázquez discussed the issue of energy and alternative fuels, and planned to continue their discussion. The Uruguayan president said that energy experts from both his country and the U.S. plan to explore the issue of alternative fuels further at a meeting in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo in October.

VOA’s interview with President Vázquez was broadcast on television Friday during VOA’s weekly current affairs television program Foro Interamericano (Inter-American Forum) and on VOA’s weekday news program for Latin America, Desde Washington (From Washington), which features news briefs on the top stories of the day. Excerpts also aired during Thursday’s Buenos Noches América (Good Evening America) and Friday’s Buenos Días América (Good Morning America) radio programs. Additional information and programming can be found at: http://www.VOANews.com/Spanish/.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.

For more information, contact the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or by e-mail at publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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