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Palestine and MERCOSUR met in Ramallah on the 16th and 17th October to substantially advance in the finalization of a Free Trade Agreement. The Palestinian delegation was headed by Minister of National Economy Dr. Hasan Abu Libdeh and MERCOSUR delegation by Mrs. Valeria Csukasi, Director for Integration of Uruguay Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The negotiation of this Agreement reflects the support of MERCOSUR countries to an independent and economically viable Palestine, coexisting in peace with all its neighbors.

During the meeting both sides reviewed the draft for a Free Trade Agreement between MERCOSUR and Palestine and committed to the goal of signing this Agreement during MERCOSUR´s Summit, to be held in Montevideo in December 2011. The Palestinian side announced that President Mahmoud Abbas will be attending the Summit.

Both sides recognized the importance of enhancing trade and economic relations between MERCOSUR and Palestine as well as sharing experience in economic development and cooperating in capacity building.

Dr. Abu Libdeh pointed out that the completion of this Agreement with MERCOSUR countries, the 5th largest economy in the World, is very important and will contribute to institution building in Palestine.

MERCOSUR Presidency recognized the hospitality of the Palestinian side and its contribution to the successful outcome of this meeting.

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