(Bloomberg) -- Argentine President-elect Alberto Fernandez said he spoke by telephone for almost an hour Saturday with French President Emmanuel Macron and discussed issues across South America, including the release from jail of Brazil’s former leader.

“We had a splendid conversation,” Fernandez said during the opening session of the Puebla Group meeting in Buenos Aires. “We have spoken about the problems of the continent,” including, he said, the return to politics of Brazil’s former president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, after a high-profile court decision reversed rules for keeping convicts in jail.

Fernandez said the two leaders also discussed the situation in countries such as Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and Venezuela, though he didn’t offer any details. Argentina and France will discuss dates for a possible Fernandez visit to France, according to a Fernandez spokesman.

Read more: Argentina’s New Foreign Policy: Who’s Advising Fernandez

Fernandez, who takes office on Dec. 10, was a speaker at the first meeting of the group, created in July to bring together left-wing leaders from the region.

“The continent needs the Puebla Group,” Fernandez said in his opening remarks. “Four years ago, we thought conservatism was here to stay in Latin America.”

Former presidents such as Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo are among the members of the self-described progressive group that will discuss regional priorities during the weekend. On the agenda are topics such as climate change, migration and growth.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jorgelina do Rosario in Buenos Aires at jdorosario@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Carolina Millan at cmillanronch@bloomberg.net, Steve Geimann, Tony Czuczka

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