Lula Calls for ‘Win-Win’ Relations with Egypt During State Visit

Brazilian President Lula da Silva’s two-day visit to Egypt over Feb. 14-15 culminated with an official state visit with host Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and the signing of two major bilateral accords; one that will strengthen trade in agricultural products, and one expanding cooperation in science, technology and innovation. From Cairo, the Brazilian President was off to Addis Abeba to participate in the African Union summit in his capacity as rotating chairman of the G20.

In the discussions in Cairo, the issue of the Israel-Palestine war, and Israel’s genocide in Gaza, was front and center, especially given Egypt’s central role as a mediator in that crisis, and Brazil’s international diplomacy in favor of a ceasefire and the unconditional release of hostages. “Any way you look at it, the scale of violence committed against the 2 million Palestinians in Gaza has no justification”, the Brazilian President stressed.

Backing Egypt’s position, Lula added that Brazil opposes any attempt at forced displacement of the Palestinian people, and supports the process begun by South Africa against Israel at the International Court of Justice.

Egypt has just become a member of the BRICS Plus together with Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which the Brazilian President welcomed. The “consolidation of the BRICS as the primary space for the articulation of emerging countries is an undeniable advance on behalf of the multipolar world,” Lula said. “We will act for the creation of a unit of common value in trade and investment transactions of the BRICS.” Lula mentioned that Egypt’s membership in the BRICS New Development Bank also represents a sign of effective collaboration among emerging economies.

In a press statement following his meeting with El-Sisi, Lula reported that he had proposed elevating their bilateral relations to the level of a strategic partnership. Two countries of their size and large populations can’t have a “small relationship”, he said. “It has to be very strong, very big and involve all the activities possible, from agriculture to defense, economics to science and technology, and our joint relationship in trying to democratize the operations of the United Nations.”

As for trade, Lula explained that both he and El-Sisi, “want a win-win trade relationship, in which both countries win…. We are two large developing countries which bet on the promotion of economic and social development as the pillars of peace and security.” He further emphasized that the two governments want to work together for a “reform of the global order and building of peace,” especially given the surge in protectionist pressures that threaten poor countries.

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