Argentine President Alberto Fernández met in Sao Paulo Monday afternoon with Brazil's President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva to celebrate the latter's victory in Sunday's runoff.
The Argentine president posted a brief video on his Twitter account in which he appears embracing Lula.
All my love, admiration and respect, dear comrade. We have a future that embraces us and summons us, wrote Fernández on social media as he posted a video of him embracing his long-time Brazilian friend, whom he had visited on many occasions, including during his incarceration on corruption charges that were later dismissed.
After Monday's meeting, Fernandéz said that Lula's first trip abroad before his Jan. 1, 2023, inauguration will be to Argentina. He gave me the enormous joy of telling me that his first visit will be to Argentina. He also told me that he will visit us before he takes office and he knows that Argentina is his home, President Fernández said during a press conference.
I had an enormous joy in meeting again my dear friend and president-elect of Brazil Lula. Everyone knows my bond with Lula. The appreciation, the highest consideration I can have for someone, I have for him. The truth is that I didn't want to be absent here today knowing the difficult moments he has gone through, Fernandéz said.
With Lula, we share a common goal, which is the need for Latin American integration, the need for democracy to be consolidated throughout the continent, and the need for electoral processes to be duly respected, he added.
Every meeting is wonderful and today was very profitable: now we were able to talk more about the future than the past, about what we have to face ahead, Fernández underlined after discussing with the former and future president of South America's largest economy issues of common interest such as cooking gas supply to Brazil through the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline, Argentina's joining the BRICS alliance together with China, Russia, India, and South Africa, the boosting of Mercosur and the war in Ukraine.
Lula told me to travel Sunday, but since it was going to be too crowded, we agreed to meet today and we were able to have lunch and talk about the common challenges that await us, Fernández also explained at the Intercontinental Hotel in Sao Paulo.
With Lula we shared the same view on the need for Latin American integration, on the need for democracy to be consolidated throughout the continent, for the electoral processes to be duly respected, and to be able to grow as a region as a whole, working together, Fernández also pointed out.
The Argentine president said Lula's victory and the bond between the two of them was a message about Brazil's role in the continent. Lula is a regional leader; now we can add Brazil to CELAC, which it left under current President Jair Bolsonaro.
Fernández also said they had reviewed the war between Russia and Ukraine and that US President Joseph Biden had called while they were talking. Ultimately Fernández admitted Lula has much more to teach me than to learn from me.
The Argentine leader also admitted Bolsonaro had brokered Argentina's entry into BRICS, but with Lula, we will now have an activist for our bid.
For Lula, Mercosur is a central and not a secondary objective; food, energy, lithium, [and]copper, are the resources that the region has to offer to the world, Fernández stressed.
Lula replied on social media: The Argentine nation is a brother country and I am happy that we resume our friendship. We will strengthen our cooperation for a better future for our peoples.