Argentina and Uruguay have been linked by a new bridge over the Uruguay River since midday on Saturday (18 September).
GV REFLECTION SHOT Of new bridge across uruguay River, linking Uruguay and Argentina.
LV President Mendez of Uruguay walks towards ribbon in bridge centre.
SV President Videla of Argentina walks towards ribbon from other side.
CU Armed guard.
GVS Both Presidents walk to ribbon, cut it and shake hands. (2 shots)
SV Argentinean soldiers stand to attention.
SV Both presidents take salute as troops sing.
GV Crowds in town of Gualeguaychu
SV Both presidents crossing square to dais.
SVS Crowd watch as presidents walk onto dais. (2 shots)
CU President Mendez.
SV President Videla making speech.
CU President Mendez addressing crowd.
GV Cars passing through town of Gualeguaychu.
Initials VS 20.00
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Argentina and Uruguay have been linked by a new bridge over the Uruguay River since midday on Saturday (18 September).
SYNOPSIS: Presidents Jorge Rafael Videla of Argentina and Aparicio Mondez of uruguay presided over the inauguration ceremony held at the middle of the gigantic structure, 5,400 metres (6,000 yards) long including the road ramps on either side. President Videla travelled to the bridge by aeroplane and helicopter. President Mendez was waiting for him on the Uruguayan side, and only a ribbon with the national colours of the two countries separated them. Everyone burst into cheers and applauded as the two presidents cut the ribbon and warmly embraced.
The bridge has been given the name of "Libertador General San Martin" It joins the Argentine town of Puerto Unzue in Entre Rios Province, with that of Fray Bentos on the Uruguayan side of the river. It was built at a cost of 24-million dollars (14 million pounds sterling), part of which was supplied by the Inter-American Development Bank. After unveiling a commemorative plaque, President Videla invited his Uruguayan counterpart to drive with him to the nearby Argentina city of Gualeguaychu.
There, they were greeted by the mayor who presented them with keys to the city.
From an official stand in the main square of Gualeguaychu, the two presidents addressed the crowds and later signed joint agreements concerning economic co-operation between the two countries. The local residents on both sides of the river shared in the excitement of the occasion. Many had' seen the beginning of construction work on the bridge several years before. And for the first time in the history of the two countries, they are able to walk or drive across the Uruguay river border. The bridge is 180 kilometres (112 miles) north of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and 300 kilometres (188 miles) northwest of Montevideo, the Uruguayan capital.