Brazil and France “turned the page”, says minister
This Wednesday (8), the Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Catherine Colonna, met with Minister Mauro Vieira, in Brasília, breaking a four-year fast without ministerial meetings between both countries. For Vieira, Colonna’s visit symbolizes the revitalization of the partnership between Brazil and France.
“We have turned the page of recent years and placed relations at the high level that both societies expect and desire”, declared the Brazilian minister referring to the tensions provoked during the administration of Jair Bolsonaro, who suspended meetings with French authorities and disrespected the first lady. , Brigitte Macron.
The meeting was seen as a preparatory step for President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Brazil, scheduled for later this year and which should coincide with the Summit of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), which brings together, in addition to Brazil, Bolivia , Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
“The president is very happy to come to Brazil,” said the French minister. Colonna reiterated that the visit “could take place” during the meeting of countries that share the Amazon rainforest.
Expanding cooperation in areas such as science, technology and cultural innovation is a common objective between the two countries, according to the Brazilian chancellor.
One of the points, according to minister Mauro Vieria, will be to reinforce the helicopter development and nationalization program and the submarine development program.
In 2022, bilateral trade reached US$ 8.4 billion, with an increase of 16% compared to 2021, according to the Itamaraty Palace. In terms of investment, Brazil is today the second main destination for French investments among the so-called “emerging countries” and the country’s first commercial partner in Latin America.
At the press conference with Colonna, the Brazilian chancellor also spoke about the importance of resuming discussion spaces between Amapá and French Guiana to guarantee the protection of the border of more than 700 km.
Minister Catherine Colonna announced that France and the European Union (EU) are considering contributing to the Amazon Fund, which had been suspended by the former Brazilian president. “France is studying the bilateral contribution, as well as through the European Union”, announced Colonna.
Before meeting with Minister Vieira, Catherina Colonna also met with Minister of the Environment, Marina Silva.
“Brazil wants to resume its leading role in international discussions on the environment”, and added “I reinforced Brazil’s commitment to zero illegal deforestation by 2030”, declared Minister Mauro Vieira.
Read also: Amazon Fund: what is missing for deforestation to start falling in Brazil?
Last week, after meeting with Lula, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to send 200 million euros to the project to preserve the environment in Brazil. The Amazon Fund was created in 2008, during Lula’s second term, with donations from Germany and Norway, but was suspended by Bolsonaro in 2019.
Mercosur Agreement – European Union
The minister recalled that the EU expects some “commitments” from South American countries with environmental policies to move forward with negotiations for a trade pact between the European bloc and the Common Market of the South (Mercosur). Minister Vieira said that Brazil will do its best to implement the agreement.
President Lula had also already said that one of his goals is to seal the agreement between Mercosur and the European Union in the first half of this year.
Learn more: In an unequal relationship, Mercosur-EU agreement would affect small Latin American producer
Still on commercial matters, in an interview with Folha de S.Paulo, Colonna said that France supports Brazil’s entry into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). “Brazil is one of the main global players. The country’s return to the global stage is strongly expected,” she said.
war in ukraine
Brazil once again established its position of neutrality in relation to the war between Russia and Ukraine.
“It will not be with weapons that we will resolve conflicts, but with dialogue and the search for acceptable solutions for both sides. Brazil is ready to contribute to this effort”, said Mauro Vieira.
Learn more: Lula vetoes sending weapons to war in Ukraine and defends peace negotiations with China
In response, the French minister said that in the conflict there is an “aggressor and a victim” and that therefore it would not be possible to put Moscow and Kiev on an equal footing.
Colonna said the idea of creating a group of countries to negotiate peace between Russia and Ukraine was welcome, but said a solution could be reached “with simple respect for the Charter of the United Nations and international law.”
Also this Wednesday, the French minister should meet with President Lula and then travel to São Paulo to meet Governor Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicans), philosopher Djamila Ribeiro and Brazilian businessmen.
Editing: Thalita Pires