Uruguay's foreign relations minister Luis Almagro and his Argentine counterpart Hector Timerman met on August 30 to discuss strategies to revamp the Paraguay-Parana waterway, an official from Uruguay's foreign relations ministry told BNamericas.
The government representatives discussed the dredging of the waterway, navigability issues, future port improvements, infrastructure needs and general connectivity in the area, said the official, who asked to remain anonymous. Progress on these issues is expected to be made public later this week.
The two ministers signed an agreement to jointly monitor pollution levels in the Uruguay river, which is shared by Uruguay and Argentina.
The agreement follows years of conflict over the construction of the Botnia-UPM pulp mill in Uruguayan town Fray Bentos. The Argentine government opposed the facility's construction, arguing it was not duly informed about the project's possible impact on the river.
Authorities from the two countries expect to draw up details regarding the joint monitoring scheme over the next two months. Specially formed committees will begin meeting in Montevideo on September 2 to discuss the monitoring plan.
The studies are expected to begin near the pulp mill, and will expand to reach other parts of the river at a later stage.