MONTEVIDEO, Dec. 5 -- Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes signed a protocol Thursday to admit Venezuela to the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), it is reported.
The document will be sent to congress for ratification, Paraguayan Foreign Minister Eladio Loizaga told reporters in Asuncion.
The signing of the protocol is a move for Paraguay to return to the regional trade bloc after months of stand-off.
Paraguay was suspended from Mercosur in 2012 after right-wing lawmakers impeached the democratically elected leftist President Fernando Lugo. When Cartes took office in August this year, he rejected an offer to return his country to Mercosur to protest Venezuela's membership in Paraguay's absence.
Loizaga said the decision to accept Venezuela's membership in Mercosur was an "independent, considered and debated" one, not as a result of international pressure.
"It's not just Venezuela, it is a more global context that was analyzed before making the decision," he said.