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Foreign relations


This article deals with the diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and international relations of Uruguay. At the political level, these matters are officially handled by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, also known as Cancillería, which answers to the President. The Minister of Foreign Relations, since March 2015, is Chancellor (es: Canciller) Rodolfo Nin Novoa.


Uruguay traditionally has had strong political and cultural links with its neighbours and Europe. British diplomat Alfred Mitchell-Innes was Minister to Uruguay throughout the crucial years of World War I (1913–1919).

With globalization and regional economic problems, its links to North America have strengthened. Uruguay is a strong advocate of constitutional democracy, political pluralism, and individual liberties. Its international relations historically have been guided by the principles of nonintervention, multilateralism, respect for national sovereignty, and reliance on the rule of law to settle disputes. Uruguay's international relations also reflect its drive to seek export markets and foreign investment. It is a founding member of MERCOSUR. In June 1991, MERCOSUR and the United States signed the Rose Garden Agreement (also known as the "Four Plus One" Agreement). The agreement was non-operational until June 2001 when MERCOSUR invited the U.S. to discuss the feasibility of market access negotiations. The first U.S.-MERCOSUR meeting was held on September 24, 2001, and resulted in the creation of four working groups on industrial trade, e-commerce, agriculture, and investment.

Uruguay is a member of the Rio Group, an association of Latin American states that deals with multilateral security issues (under the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance). Uruguay's location between Argentina and Brazil makes close relations with these two larger neighbors and MERCOSUR associate members Chile and Bolivia particularly important. An early proponent of the Enterprise for the Americas Initiative, Uruguay has actively participated in the follow-up process to the periodic Summits of the Americas, especially the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA). Often considered a neutral country and blessed with a professional diplomatic corps, Uruguay is often called on to preside international bodies. Most recently, Uruguay was selected to chair the FTAA and WTO agricultural committees and a Uruguayan presides over the WTO General Assembly. Uruguay also is a member of the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI), a trade association based in Montevideo that includes 10 South American countries plus Mexico and Cuba.

Disputes - international: Uncontested disputes with Brazil over tiny Isla Brasilera at the mouth of the Quarai/Cuareim River near the Argentina tripoint, and, 225 kilometers upriver, over the 235 km2. Invernada River region, as to which tributary is the legitimate source of the Quarai/Cuareim River.

In the 1960s, the US Office of Public Safety helped in training Uruguayan police officers. Dan Mitrione taught torture methods used against the civilian population and the Tupamaros.[citation needed]


Country Formal Relations Began Notes

Uruguay and Argentina established diplomatic relations on July 20, 1811. Uruguay gained its independence after the Cisplatine War, with Argentine aid. During the Uruguayan Civil War, Argentina supported the National Party. The countries were allied during the Paraguayan War.

Since the end of the 19th century, both countries have shared a similar pattern of European immigration. They have very close economic, cultural and political ties with each other. Between the 1960s and the 1990s there was much Uruguayan immigration to Argentina. Today, there are around 120,000 people of Uruguayan descent living in Argentina.

In 2006 the countries had their first diplomatic tensions over the Pulp mill dispute, which was resolved in 2010.

 Brazil See Brazil–Uruguay relations
 Chile See Chile–Uruguay relations
 Mexico 1831-02-22

Both countries established diplomatic relations on the 22 February 1831.

 Paraguay See Paraguay–Uruguay relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 6, 1845. Paraguay has an embassy in Montevideo.[5] Uruguay has an embassy in Asunción.[6]

During the Paraguayan War, even if Uruguay was the smallest member of the coalition which Paraguay had to face, soldiers of both countries fought each other during three major battles: Battle of Jataí, Battle of Tuyutí and Battle of Curupaity.

Both countries were founding members of the Mercosur. Both countries are full members of the Rio Group, of the Latin Union, of the Association of Spanish Language Academies, of the Organization of American States, of the Organization of Ibero-American States and of the Union of South American Nations.

 Peru See Peru–Uruguay relations

Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1912, but various agreements were informally passed during the second half of the 19th century. Peru has an embassy in Montevideo.[7][8] Uruguay has an embassy in Lima and an honorary consulate in Arequipa.

Both countries are full members of the Rio Group, of the Latin Union, of the Association of Spanish Language Academies, of the Organization of American States, of the Organization of Ibero-American States and of the Union of South American Nations.


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Czech Republic See Czech Republic–Uruguay relations
 Finland 1935-03-21
 France 1825 See France–Uruguay relations
 Germany 1850 See Germany–Uruguay relations
Germany has an embassy in Montevideo. Uruguay has an embassy in Berlin, a general consulate in Hamburg and six honorary consulates (in Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Potsdam and Stuttgart). Germany is Uruguay's principal trading partner in the European Union.[13]
 Italy 1861 See Italy–Uruguay relations
 Russia See Russia–Uruguay relations

Russia has an embassy in Montevideo and Uruguay has an embassy in Moscow.[15] Russia is looking for cooperation with Uruguay in the field of nuclear energy, the Russian ambassador to Latin America said: "Our countries could maintain cooperation in the sphere of nuclear energy although Uruguay's legislation bans the use of nuclear energy". The diplomat said Uruguayan officials had shown interest in a floating nuclear power plant, when the project's presentation took place at the Russian Embassy recently. The first floating plant will have capacity of 70 MW of electricity, and about 300 MW of thermal power. The cost of the first plant is estimated at US$400 million, but could later be reduced to $240 million. This year marks the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and Uruguay.

 Spain See Spain–Uruguay relations
 Sweden See Sweden–Uruguay relations
  Switzerland 1828 See Switzerland–Uruguay relations

Both countries share a long history of mutual economic relations, and they established diplomatic relations in 1828.[18] In the twentieth century, Uruguay has looked to Switzerland as a model for government, historical and cultural ties go back to at least the nineteenth century.[19] There are 956 people with Swiss passports residing in Uruguay in 2009. Uruguay was described as the "Switzerland of the Americas" in a 1951 New York Times article for its popularity as a haven for capital fleeing Europe at the time and its adoption of Swiss-inspired banking laws. Thomas J. Knight also wrote that "Uruguay has for most of its history been the 'Switzerland' of South America."[20]

 Ukraine See Foreign relations of Ukraine
  • Ukraine is represented in Uruguay through its embassy in Buenos Aires (Argentina).[21]
  • Uruguay is represented in Ukraine through its embassy in Moscow (Russia) and through an honorary consulate in Kiev.
  • There are around 10,000 people of Ukrainian descent living in Uruguay.
 United Kingdom 1825 See United Kingdom – Uruguay relations


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Armenia 1992 See Armenia–Uruguay relations
 Israel See Israel–Uruguay relations
 Japan 1921-09 See Japan–Uruguay relations
 Lebanon 1945 See Lebanon–Uruguay relations

Lebanon has an embassy in Montevideo and Uruguay has an embassy in Beirut [1].

 People's Republic of China 1988 See China–Uruguay relations
 North Korea See North Korea–Uruguay relations
 South Korea 1964-10-07[28] See Uruguay–South Korea relations

Rest of world[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Australia See Australia–Uruguay relations
 Canada 1953 See Canada–Uruguay relations
 Egypt See Egypt–Uruguay relations
 New Zealand See Foreign relations of New Zealand
 SADR 2005
 United States See United States – Uruguay relations

Uruguay cooperates with the U.S. on law enforcement matters, such as regional efforts to fight drug trafficking and terrorism. It has also been very active in human rights issues.In 2002, Uruguay and the U.S. created a Joint Commission on Trade and Investment (JCTI) to exchange ideas on a variety of economic topics. In March 2003, the JCTI identified six areas of concentration until the eventual signing of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA): customs issues, intellectual property protection, investment, labor, environment, and trade in goods. In late 2004, Uruguay and the U.S. signed an Open Skies Agreement, which was ratified in May 2006. In November 2005, they signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT), which entered into force on November 1, 2006. A Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) was signed in January 2007. More than 80 U.S.-owned companies operate in Uruguay, and many more market U.S. goods and services.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Embaixada do Brasil em Montevideo: Relações Bilaterais
  2. ^ Embassy of Mexico in Montevideo (in Spanish only)
  3. ^ Embassy of Uruguay in Mexico City (in Spanish only)
  4. ^ Relación Bilateral entre México y Uruguay (in Spanish only)
  5. ^ Paraguayan embassy in Montevideo (in Spanish only)
  6. ^ Uruguayan embassy in Asuncion (in Spanish only)
  7. ^ Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Relations about relations with Uruguay (in Spanish only)
  8. ^ Peruvian embassy in Montevideo (in Spanish only)
  9. ^ Czech embassy in Montevideo (in Czech and Spanish only)
  10. ^ a b http://www.worldembassyinformation.com/embassy-of-denmark/uruguay.html
  11. ^ Embassy of Finland in Buenos Aires, Argentina (in Finnish, Swedish and Spanish)
  12. ^ <French embassy in Montevideo (in French and Spanish only)
  13. ^ "Uruguay". German Foreign Office. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  14. ^ Italian embassy in Montevideo (in Italian and Spanish only)
  15. ^ Embassy of the Russian Federation in Montevideo
  16. ^ Embassy of Spain in Montevideo (in Spanish only)
  17. ^ Embassy of Uruguay in Madrid (in Spanish only)
  18. ^ "Uruguay and Switzerland — cultural and economic Benefits from new Market opportunities". Mercosur. Retrieved 2009-05-14. Switzerland and Uruguay feature relatively stable and reliable democracies. And both countries share a long history of mutual economic relations. ... This Swiss settlement was soon to become known for the exceptional quality of its cheese and other dairy products. As transport developed, the farmers began selling their products on an unprecedented scale, notably to Argentina and even to Switzerland. ... Uruguay and Switzerland laid down the cornerstone of their cooperation in 1938: The two countries signed a trade agreement aimed to enhance commercial cooperation. And in 1991, an agreement on the mutual protection of investments became effective. 
  19. ^ Lijphart, Arend (1980). Democracy in plural societies. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-02494-0. Switzerland and republican Austria have not been colonial powers, but some attention should be paid to the case of Uruguay for which Swiss democracy served ... 
  20. ^ Thomas J. Knight, Latin America comes of age (Scarecrow Press, 1979), 24.
  21. ^ Ukrainian embassy in Buenos Aires, also accredited to Uruguay (in Spanish and Ukrainian only)
  22. ^ British embassy in Montevideo
  23. ^ Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Relations: directions of the representation of Armenia in Uruguay
  24. ^ Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Relations: directions of the representation of Uruguay in Armenia
  25. ^ Israeli embassy in Montevideo (in Spanish only)
  26. ^ "Joint Statement Israel-Uruguay, 4 May 1986". Israel. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 
  27. ^ Japanese embassy in Montevideo (in Japanese and Spanish)
  28. ^ a b http://www.mofa.go.kr/ENG/countries/latinamerica/countries/20070803/1_24586.jsp?menu=m_30_30
  29. ^ South Korean embassy in Montevideo
  30. ^ Canadian embassy in Montevideo
  31. ^ Uruguayan embassy in Ottawa
  32. ^ Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Egyptian embassy in Montevideo
  33. ^ Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Uruguayan missions to Egypt

External links[edit]

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