Australia–Uruguay relations are foreign relations between Australia and Uruguay. Australia is represented in Uruguay through its embassy in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and an honorary consulate in Montevideo. Uruguay has an embassy in Canberra, a general consulate in Sydney and an honorary consulate in Melbourne.
Australia and Uruguay share an interest in the Southern Ocean and the fisheries therein. Both countries are full members of the Cairns Group and the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. A number of incidents have taken place in Antarctic waters involving Uruguayan-flagged sailing boats and Australian officers.
Uruguay has an embassy in Australia, and Australia has a consulate in Uruguay. The first Uruguayan Consul came to Australia in 1954. As of 2012[update] the Uruguayan Ambassador to Australia is Alberto Fajardo. Since 1996, Diego L. Payssé is Australia's Honorary Consul in Montevideo.
Both countries are agricultural exporters, and advocate for the reduction and reform of farm subsidies. In 1970, Uruguay joined the International Wool Secretariat, composed of founding members Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
An extradition treaty was signed in 1998.
In the lead up to the 2005 selection of director-general of the World Trade Organization, Australia declined to endorse the Uruguayan candidate Carlos Perez del Castillo over Pascal Lamy, despite the countries being agricultural export allies. The two countries' foreign ministers met in New York City during a 2008 United Nations General Assembly meeting and discussed ways to increase links between Australia and Uruguay.
Illegal fishing incidents
In August 2003, the Australian government boarded a suspected illegal fishing vessel, the Viarsa I, in Antarctic waters. The vessel was boarded by personnel from the Australian customs and fisheries patrol boat Southern Supporter, backed by armed South African enforcement officers. A Uruguayan was detained and taken into custody of the Australian government. The detainment of the official caused a rift between Australia and Uruguay, who demanded the official's immediate release. Australian Fisheries Minister Ian Macdonald claimed that the official along with the rest of the crew be charged under Australian law. Uruguay then ordered the fishing vessel home to face local law, causing a strain on the relations between the two countries who each thought the ship should be prosecuted under their own jurisdictions. Still, the two countries stated they were cooperating to resolve their difficulties.
Four months after the initial incident, HMAS Warramunga intercepted the Uruguayan-flagged Maya V in the Southern Ocean about 4,000 kilometres (2,200 nmi) south west of Perth. Prime Minister John Howard boarded and thanked the crew for their work fighting illegal fishing saying, "Australians feel very strongly that people who want to illegally fish in our waters, who want to pillage our assets, should be repelled and, where appropriate, apprehended." Two top officials representing Uruguay and Australia met to discuss issues involving the Maya V incident. Uruguayan Ambassador to Australia Pedro Mo Amaro said in a statement on the news, "We agree with all the measures Australian authorities have taken but not with these measures against the crew," he went on to say "We think the crew is innocent - they have not committed any offences." The crew involved later were charged varying fines and released back to Uruguay.
Economic relations include monetary aid between the two nations. Australian imports totalled 27 million Australian Dollars in the period between 2007 and 2008. Australia exported 24 million Australian Dollars worth of items to Uruguay.
In the late 1990s, the major exports from Uruguay to Australia were leather, furskins, pearls and gems, and leather goods. In that period Australia primarily exported wool, iron, steel, and beef to Uruguay. In 2010 Uruguay investigated the possibility of importing Merino semen and embryos to reinvigorate their sheep industry after substantial declines.
Australian investment in Uruguay centres on mining, agriculture, and entertainment, and benefits from the lack of obstacle to repatriation of profits.
Uruguayan Australians are an ethnic minority in Australia with populations in larger Australian cities, primarily Sydney (especially Fairfield) and Melbourne. The first migrants from Uruguay came to Australia during the 1960s during a time of political and economical hardship, with the migration peak in 1974. By 1981 the Uruguayan population in Australia reached almost 9300, then after the restoration of democracy in Uruguay it rose slowly to 9715 in 1996. In 1981 80% lived in New South Wales, and 17% in Victoria.
The two nations' respective national football team have competed with each other in the intercontinental playoffs for the FIFA World Cup in 2002 and 2006. Uruguay advanced in the former edition while Australia qualified in the latter. In 2002 the Uruguayan consul-general promoted soccer in Australia, saying "the only thing [Uruguayan and Latin American people] miss is that this is not a soccer country".
- Australian Honorary Consulate in Montevideo
- Embassy of Uruguay in Canberra
- Uruguayan Consulates in Australia
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Relations of Australia and Uruguay.|
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