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Macron ends his visit to Brazil with a more political stop

French President Emmanuel Macron ends a three-day state visit to Brazil on Thursday with a more political focus, with disagreement in his sights with his counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Ukraine.

Already on Wednesday, the Head of State hit the nail on the head on another angry subject by proclaiming, in front of Brazilian entrepreneurs, that the trade agreement between the European Union and the Mercosur countries ( Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia) had to be buried.

The EU-Mercosur agreement “as it is negotiated today is a very bad agreement , for you and for us”, said Mr. Macron in Sao Paulo (south-east), the economic capital.

“Let's build a new agreement (…) which is responsible from a development, climate and biodiversity point of view”, he defended while Brazil, heavyweight of Mercosur, wants the conclusion of this treaty, as do some key European partners such as Germany and Spain.

The draft treaty, discussions of which began in 1999, intends to remove the majority of customs duties between the two zones by creating a space for more than 700 million consumers.

After a political agreement in 2019, several countries including France blocked its adoption , an opposition which has strengthened with the agricultural crisis in Europe.

“We should make the most of the opportunities for greater trade between the European Union and Mercosur. We still have time,” responded Brazilian Economy Minister Fernando Haddad on Wednesday in Sao Paulo.

– “Firmness” –< /p>

Before “putting his foot down” on the EU-Mercosur agreement, Emmanuel Macron celebrated with his Brazilian counterpart the “strength” of the bilateral partnership by attending the christening of the third Brazilian submarine of French design on the shipyard of Itaguai, near Rio.

This “will allow two important countries, each on a continent, to prepare so that we can face the adversity”, launched Lula.

Evoking “the same vision of the world”, Mr. Macron judged that “we sometimes need to know how to use the language of firmness to protect peace”.

President Macron also stressed that France would continue to be “at the side” of Brazil as it plans to build its first submarine nuclear attack. But the project is accumulating delays.

The agreement concluded between the two countries in 2008 provided for the manufacture of four conventionally powered submarines via French technology transfers.

From the fifth, this one with nuclear propulsion, France will assist Brazil in the design of its submersible, with the exception of the nuclear boiler room, vector of sovereignty par excellence which will fall under the exclusive competence of Brasilia.

“If Brazil wants to have access to knowledge of nuclear technology, it is not to make war” but to support countries “which want peace”, assured Lula.

– Global South –

For the last day of his visit on Thursday, the French president will be welcomed in the capital Brasilia by Lula for discussions dominated by major international issues.

Mr. Macron should recall the importance that the G20, chaired this year by Brazil, must continue to give to the war in Ukraine.

Macron ends his visit to Brazil with a more political stop

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (D) hug during the christening of the third French-designed Brazilian submarine, at the Itaguai shipyard in Brazil, March 27, 2024 © AFP – Pablo PORCIUNCULA

Lula, who poses as champion of the “global South”, insists for his part that responsibilities are shared in Ukraine and refuses to take sides against Russia.

We must “know how to credibly defend the international order in which we believe”, judged the French president on the site of the shipyard, without mentioning Ukraine.

The Brazilian president also persists in accusing Israel of “genocide” against the Palestinians in Gaza, just like South Africa.

France does not is not on this line because it does not correspond to the “truth on the ground”, Emmanuel Macron recently reiterated.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116