Diplomatic sources in Israel believe that the sudden cancellation was triggered by mounting pressure from local pro-Arab business groups in Brazil and Argentina
Sources closed to the Ministry of Trade said last week that a delegation of the four Mercosur member countries - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, postponed the third round of talks on a free trade agreement that were scheduled to take place this week in Jerusalem.
It is understood that the official reason for the postponement was heavy workload. However, diplomatic sources in Israel believe that the sudden cancellation was triggered by mounting pressure from local pro-Arab business groups in Brazil and Argentina.
Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem noted that the postponement was expected especially after the Argentinean representative handed over the presidency of Mercosur bloc to the Brazilian representative. The latter is known for his pro-Palestinian attitudes.
Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor bilateral trade agreements division director Mr. Boaz Hirsch said last week that the Israeli and Mercosur representatives held a series of meetings during the first half of the year, and the cancellation comes just as both sides were on the verge of reaching agreement. It is understood that the next round of talks will take place in October or early next year.