21:17 GMT12 June 2021
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    Venezuela has formally passed on the presidency over the Mercosur Latin American regional economic bloc to Argentina, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – "Venezuela, after completing its management and participation in the main treaties is passing the temporary presidency of Mercosur to Argentina," Rodriguez wrote on Twitter, posting her official letter to Mercosur members, where she says that Venezuela is making a "formal transfer" of the presidency.

    Mercosur chairmanship for the second half of 2016 was supposed to be transferred to Venezuela, after Uruguay officially ended its term in July. However, there have been concerns over growing discord in Venezuela amid a political standoff between Maduro and the opposition-dominated parliament.

    Argentina’s Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra announced earlier this month that Argentina was assuming the rotating presidency of Mercosur and that there would be no traditional presidential summit.

    Venezuela was officially notified of having its membership in Mercosur suspended earlier in December.

    Earlier this year, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay of uniting against Caracas on the Mercosur presidency transfer issue.


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