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'South American Union possible'

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said this after signing a strategic alliance with his Argentine counterpart.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2006 17:34 IST

A South American Union seems more possible today than ever before, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said after signing a strategic alliance with his Argentine counterpart Nestor Kirchner here.

Chavez stressed that the union, as a geopolitical, economic and social project, is the only path towards the people's comprehensive development.

"If we fail to undertake pro-integration projects, we would remain condemned to underdevelopment, backwardness and violence," he added.

He held a private meeting Monday with Kirchner at the Miraflores Palace (the presidential office), where they signed a strategic alliance between the two nations.

Kirchner is in Caracas to attend a special presidential summit of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) to sanction the protocol for Venezuela joining the group.

The meeting will also see Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay officially join the gas pipeline of the south, which Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela have already signed.

On his part, Kirchner too highlighted the importance of the strategic alliance with Venezuela for the economic and social development of both the countries.

He said Venezuela's entry into MERCOSUR is "a qualitative step to consolidate regional prospects and projections towards the world and within the region."