Brazilian president to make first visit to Egypt since taking office

Ahram Online , Friday 26 Jan 2024

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will visit Egypt on 15-16 February and meet with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, according to the state-run news agency Agencia Brasil.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva addresses the 78th United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 19, 2023. AFP


This visit will mark Lula’s first to Egypt since assuming office in January 2023. However, he did attend the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh in 2022 when he was president-elect.

The specific agenda items for Lula’s visit to Egypt have not been disclosed yet. However, the visit comes a few months after Egypt facilitated the evacuation of Brazilians and their families who were stranded in Gaza during the ongoing Israeli attacks. Egypt has been facilitating the evacuation of foreign passport holders from Gaza since November.

After Egypt, Lula will head to Ethiopia on 17-18 February to attend the Assembly of the African Union’s session for heads of state and government in Addis Ababa.

Last week, Lula confirmed his Africa tour, stating that Brazil needs to “start repaying once and for all the historic debt we owe to the African people,” as reported by the agency.

Diplomatic, political coordination

Lula’s visit comes while Egypt and Brazil are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations this year. El-Sisi and Lula have hailed the highly distinguished Egyptian-Brazilian ties.

Last month, the Brazilian government invited Egypt to participate as a guest in all G20 meetings during Brazil's presidency of the group, which started in December and will last for one year.

In October of last year, El-Sisi and Lula had a phone conversation discussing the crisis in Gaza. During the call, Lula urged Egypt’s support for the evacuation of Brazilian citizens trying to leave the strip.

The two leaders emphasized the importance of providing access to humanitarian aid for the people in Gaza and agreed to maintain regular consultations on ongoing crises, according to the Brazilian presidency.

Boosting economic cooperation

Brazil is Egypt’s largest trade partner in Latin America. Trade between the two countries totaled around $2.4 billion in the first 10 months of 2023, as stated by Brazil’s Ambassador to Egypt Paulino Franco de Carvalho.

With Egypt officially becoming a member of the BRICS group of major emerging economies in January, trade between Egypt and Brazil is expected to further increase in the coming years.

Official data from 2022 and 2023 shows that Egypt's trade exchange with BRICS members, including both founding and new members, amounts to $46.673 billion, which is more than one-third of the country's total external trade

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