Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva met Wednesday in Brasilia with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna in an encounter that has been regarded as a preparation for a summit between the South American leader and his French colleague Emmanuel Macron.
Lula held a telephone conversation on Jan. 26 with Macron, to whom he reaffirmed his invitation for an official visit to Brazil, on a date yet to be determined, to discuss environmental issues as well as the free trade agreement between European Union and Mercosur.
Brazil and France have important political, economic, and cultural ties, based on almost 200 years of history. With the visit of Minister Catherine Colonna, we turn the page of recent years and restore our relations to the high level expected and desired by both societies, Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira said after a meeting that was also marking a relaunch in bilateral ties following the distancing during the four years the rightwing Jair Bolsonaro ruled the South American country (2019-2022).
Lula's government seeks to turn the page of the last few years, Vieira also explained. Colonna's visit ”marks the beginning of a relaunching of the political collaboration that unites us with Brazil (...), to which we are going to give a new ambition, he added.
I am coming to Brazil so that our two countries can initiate a new dynamic in their relations, said Colonna, who also held meetings with Vieira and Environment Minister Marina Silva. France is studying the possibility of a bilateral contribution to Brazil's Amazon Fund, it was also reported.
Regarding the Mercosur FTA, CColonna admitted that we are now more confident in Brazil's capacity to accept in a future agreement respect for social and environmental principles.
Political relations between Brazil and France deteriorated during Bolsonaro's term in office, especially in 2019 when, exasperated by criticism of the giant fires in the Amazon, the far-right head of state and two of his ministers insulted Macron and his wife Brigitte.
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