Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho said this Saturday that he expects the first half of 2023 to be “very intense for bilateral relations” with Brazil, chaired by Lula da Silva.
Speaking to journalists at the Portuguese embassy in Brasilia, on the eve of Lula da Silva’s inauguration as Brazilian president, João Gomes Cravinho said that he had already met with the future Brazilian Foreign Minister, Mauro Vieira, “who is, in fact, an old friend.”
Gomes Cravinho said that he must return to Brazil at the end of February and highlighted the bilateral summit that the two governments are preparing for April.
According to the minister, today there are “completely different conditions regarding Brazil’s presence in the world” and, at the multilateral level, “good conditions are created” for Lula’s government if the European Union/Mercosur agreement concludes.
“Regarding the bilateral relationship, it is a relationship that is 200 years old, a unique relationship, and we have never lost contact with Brazil. However, we have to point out that since 2016 there has not been a bilateral summit and summits are usually annual. Therefore, this also shows some difficulty that there was in the interlocution, ”he said.
The Minister of Foreign Relations indicated the resumption of the summits between governments already “in the first half of President Lula’s term” as “a very important sign.”
“And we look at these summits as a moment not only for the bilateral relationship, but also to calibrate our actions within the regions, the European Union, CELAC [Comunidade dos Estados Latino-Americanos e Caribenhos] in Latin America,” he said.
Asked if he expects changes in Brazil’s relationship with the European Union, Gomes Cravinho stressed that “President Lula has already underlined his great interest in finally closing the European Union/Mercosur agreement”, which he described as “absolutely essential to project the relationship to another plane.”
“One of the obstacles was precisely the approach that the Bolsonaro administration had towards the Amazon, and President Lula has already given very clear signs of having a radically different approach. And thus good conditions are created, he believes, to deepen the dialogue with a view to finally concretizing the European Union / Mercosur agreement that has been brewing for 20 years ”, he considered.
On the other hand, the Minister of Foreign Affairs pointed out that “the relationship between Brazil and the European Union has the title of strategic association”, but in recent years “this relationship has had very little strategic”.
“We believe that now, with President Lula, it will be possible to really return to that ambition of having a strategic partnership,” he said.