Europe

German, Uruguayan leaders hope to advance EU-Mercosur talks

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and the President of Uruguay, Tabare Vazquez Rosas, left, shake hands during a joint press conference as part of a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, and the President of Uruguay, Tabare Vazquez Rosas, left, shake hands during a joint press conference as part of a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a joint press conference with the President of Uruguay, Tabare Vazquez Rosas, as part of a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a joint press conference with the President of Uruguay, Tabare Vazquez Rosas, as part of a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)  (The Associated Press)

The leaders of Germany and Uruguay say they hope to push forward talks on a free-trade deal between the European Union and South America's Mercosur group amid uncertainty about the new U.S. administration's approach to trade.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel noted Wednesday that political changes in Brazil and Argentina — which make up Mercosur along with Paraguay and Uruguay — have revived chances of the trade pact. Mercosur suspended Venezuela in December.

Merkel said after meeting Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez: "We as the European Union, if we perhaps don't advance or advance more slowly with a view to the United States — we will have to see — of course will continue to negotiate other trade agreements quickly."

She cited talks with Japan, India and Australia as well as Mercosur.