Between France and Brazil, an understanding rediscovered | EUROtoday

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Emmanuel Macron receives the Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, at the Elysée, June 23, 2023.

The gesture is uncommon sufficient to be highlighted. Emmanuel Macron, who is because of start a three-day state go to to Brazil on Tuesday March 26, needs to be acquired in Belem, capital of the state of Para, within the Amazon, by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in particular person. Despite his 78 years, the left-wing president didn’t hesitate to make this lengthy journey of 1,600 kilometers to personally obtain his visitor. An indication of the significance given to this arrival and the warming of relations between the 2 nations.

We have to return to 2016 and the mandate of François Hollande, eight lengthy years, to search out traces of a go to by a French president to Brazil (and even to 2013 for a state go to). An eclipse due primarily to the tumultuous mandate of Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2023), who didn’t hesitate to copiously insult Emmanuel Macron and his spouse throughout an unprecedented diplomatic disaster, in 2019, towards a backdrop of fires within the Amazon.

For Emmanuel Macron, it’s a query of building a foothold in Latin America, an space largely uncared for by French diplomacy since his arrival in energy, but in addition of displaying his closeness to Lula. The two males have already met a number of instances and are frequently seated subsequent to one another at worldwide occasions, as a result of alphabetical order. This was the case through the coronation of Charles III in May 2023. The two presidents then exchanged handshakes, pats on the again and bursts of laughter.

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Emmanuel Macron has by no means stopped courting his Brazilian counterpart. From November 2021, he acquired with nice fanfare on the Elysée, with a purple carpet and a Republican Guard, a Lula who was nonetheless solely a easy presidential candidate. The head of state was one of many first to congratulate him on his electoral victory on October 30, 2022 towards the far proper of Jair Bolsonaro. Lula was additionally one of many stars of the Paris summit for a brand new international monetary pact, in June 2023.


On the floor, nevertheless, the 2 males are polar opposites. What do the hairless 46-year-old banker and the bearded 78-year-old steelworker have in widespread? The Frenchman was elected president on his first try, in 2017, profiting from the collapse of conventional divisions. The Brazilian needed to attempt 4 instances to win, after having based and consolidated the most important left-wing formation in Latin America, the Workers' Party (PT).

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But in actuality, “Macron and Lula have way more in widespread than one may think, notes Rubens Ricupero, 87, considered one of Brazil's most skilled diplomats and former financial system minister. They are each mavericks, who in diplomacy wish to undertake provocative and typically radical positions. » This is evidenced by the French president's statements on the battle in Ukraine and his current suggestion of sending troops to help Kiev; or these of Lula on the warfare in Gaza, which he just lately in comparison with the Shoah.

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