«We are seeking the maximum benefit for Paraguayans,» says Peña regarding negotiations with Brazil

Asunción, Agencia IP.- The President of the Republic, Santiago Peña, positively assessed the meeting he had yesterday with his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and expressed enthusiasm for the progress of negotiations on the modification of Annex C of Itaipu and the definition of the electrical tariff.

«We have a firm stance, and we will continue working on that, which is to defend the Paraguayans. The maximum benefit for the Paraguayans, that’s what we are looking for,» said President Peña this Tuesday regarding Paraguay’s position in negotiations with Brazil.

He emphasized that these negotiations take place within the framework of excellent personal and bilateral relations between the highest authorities of both countries. Still, he recognized that these good relations «need to be substantiated.»

He valued some «gestures» already made, such as exempting a pending charge of about 100 million dollars on the maquila industry exporting from Paraguay to Brazil. This was going to imply a significant loss of jobs for the country.

«Now we are here to continue the conversations about Annex C and the operation of Itaipu. We are very excited; I went with a top-level team, and we made it clear that this is a top priority for Paraguay,» he said.

He stated that these discussions will continue as soon as possible, with President Lula’s visit to Asunción in the coming weeks.

Agreements facilitating progress in negotiations

The Head of the Civil Cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic, Lea Giménez, also highlighted on Tuesday the importance of the discussions held yesterday in Brasília, which lasted approximately six hours.

«They approached issues of interest, regional infrastructure, trade exchange, and countries’ role in the international context. The focus of the conversation was the definition of the Itaipu tariff for 2024 and, on the other hand, the redefinition of Annex C,» she summarized.

Regarding Itaipu-related matters, she indicated that it was agreed that members of the negotiating group must be individuals with technical and historical knowledge and the necessary political weight to ensure effective and efficient results, but above all, constructive for both parties.

«It was agreed that the next meeting will be in Asunción. President Lula wants to come to Asunción, and both leaders instructed their teams that this should happen as soon as possible,» she said.

Giménez emphasized that «it is clear that the leaders of both countries sincerely seek a favorable outcome for both parties and that this is a moment that allows for the consolidation of relations between the two countries.»

«Today, we are taking the time with due responsibility so that these decisions occur in the best possible way, maximizing the benefit for our country,» she emphasized.