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Macron heads to Brazil after a message of confidence in the Ariane rocket

Emmanuel Macron expressed his confidence in the European rocket Ariane, in the challenge of catching up with its American competitor SpaceX, during a trip to Guyana on Tuesday, before to set course for Brazil whereù it is expected to seal the warming of relations.

An emblematic center of Guyana, the center of Kourou, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, seems weightless, awaiting the inaugural flight of the future heavy launcher Ariane 6.

This should take place “at the end of June, beginning of July”, declared Tuesday the president of the National Center for Space Studies Philippe Baptiste, during a dialogue with the Head of State. It was until now announced between mid-June and the end of July.

Also present in Kourou, the president of Arianespace Stéphane Israel specified that the date of the inaugural flight would be officially set in May.

“I feel like I'm on board with you since the first day in this adventure”, launched Emmanuel Macron in front of employees involved in the development of the new launcher, taking note of the schedule slightly more ambitious.

The Ariane 6 program, which should give Europe back its autonomy of access to space, was four years late due to Covid and development difficulties.

In the meantime, the Ariane 5 heavy launcher completed its last flight on July 5, 2023, with a total of 117 launches to its credit since 1996.

Macron heads to Brazil after a message of confidence in the Ariane rocket

Takeoff of the Ariane 5 rocket from the Guyanese Kourou space center, July 5, 2023 © AFP – jody amiet

The future of the Kourou center must “be redefined to make it a true space port for Europe”, insists the Elysée, pointing to heightened competition on launchers, with Elon Musk's SpaceX at the forefront, and the development of micro and mini launchers.

SpaceX alone carried out 107 launches last year, compared to three (two Ariane 5s and a Vega rocket) for the Europeans.< /p>

– Turn the page –

In Kourou, the Head of State continued a visit to Guyana, widely devoted party to the economic development of the Overseas Department.

He announced on Monday measures to renew the local fishing fleet, faced with illegal fishing from Brazil .

He also said he was open to the installation of a “legal gold panning” sector in “certain places”, with the objective of occupying certain sites to “reduce illegal activity”.

He promised to discuss strengthening cooperation in the fight against illegal gold mining with Brazil, where he begins an emblematic state visit of nearly three on Tuesday afternoon. days.

Mr. Macron intends to turn the page, with his counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, on the dark years of Jair Bolsonaro's far-right presidency.

In the midst of a crisis on fires in the Amazon, Jair Bolsonaro and his ministers had made very derogatory, even insulting, remarks towards President Macron and his wife, which had finished poisoning the relationship.

“We are in a Franco-Brazilian moment”, welcomes the Elysée. “France is an essential actor, essential for Brazilian foreign policy,” adds Brazilian diplomacy.

Macron heads to Brazil after a message of confidence in the Ariane rocket

President Emmanuel Macron (l) in the forest near the village of Camopi, March 25, 2024 in Guyana © AFP – Ludovic MARIN

Symbolic if ever there was one, the two heads of state will meet in the Amazon, in Belem, in the north of Brazil, to demonstrate that economic development can rhyme with environmental protection.

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has halved in 2023, a success for President Lula who had promised to resolutely fight against the phenomenon.

– Ukraine and trade agreement –

In total, 5,152 km2 of forest were destroyed. The world's largest tropical forest plays a vital role against global warming by absorbing carbon emissions.

Macron heads to Brazil after a message of confidence in the Ariane rocket

Presidents Emmanuel Macron (c) meets members of the 3rd foreign infantry regiment of the French Foreign Legion at the forward operating base (BAO) of Camopi, March 25, 2024 in Guyana © AFP – Ludovic MARIN

In terms of defense, France and Brazil are already cooperating for the production of four conventionally powered submarines – the third will be launched on Wednesday in the presence of the two leaders – and helicopters .

Brasilia could also call on Paris to help it develop nuclear propulsion on a fifth submarine. Such transfers of technology, very sensitive in terms of sovereignty and non-proliferation, would represent a small revolution seen from France.

But there are also subjects which annoying, starting with the free trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia), which France is blocking against the backdrop of the agricultural crisis in Europe.

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

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.

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