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Brazil and Argentina to bolster ties

May 21, 2005 at 10:20 AM

BRASILIA, Brazil, May 21 (UPI) -- Brazil and Argentina have embarked on an "ambitious plan" to improve economic ties following a recent row between the nations.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and his Argentine counterpart, Rafael Bielsa, met Friday in the Brazilian capital to sign an agreement for "an ambitious program that deepens, up-dates and speeds up bilateral relations," the ministers said in a joint statement.

The leaders said they would bolster ties through greater military and infrastructure development cooperation, among other initiatives, Estado de Sao Paulo reported Saturday.

Earlier this month Argentine President Nestor Kirchner expressed his dismay with Brazil, saying it was time to "harden relations" with Argentina's northern neighbor.

Argentine officials said the president was tired of Brazil taking the lead on all matters Latin America and criticized Brazil for its lack of support in Argentina's recent dealings with the International Monetary Fund.

Last week Kirchner left a summit of Latin American and Arab nations after only one day, irritating a number of Brazilian officials who viewed his early departure as an insult.

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