“Soon the number of Brazilians in Portugal will be greater than the Portuguese population”

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Brazilian President jokes to highlight the “exceptional moment” in the relationship between Brazil and Portugal.

Brazilian President Lula da Silva stressed today the “exceptional moment” of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Portugal, joking that “in a short time” the number of Brazilians in Portugal “will be greater than the Portuguese population”.

“Brazil is experiencing an exceptional moment in its relationship with Portugal”, said the Brazilian head of state, in an interview with the international press in Brussels and answering a question from the Lusa agency, at the end of participating in a two-day European Union summit with Latin America and the Caribbean.

Lula da Silva joked:”If in 1500 Portugal discovered Brazil, in 2023 Brazil discovered Portugal, that is, by the amount of Brazilians that Portugal has today, in a short time it will be more than the Portuguese population”.

Asked about conversations held with the Portuguese Prime Minister during the summit of European Union and Latin American countries that took place on Monday and Tuesday in Brussels, the Brazilian President indicated that he did not talk “about the war with António Costa”.

“In fact, I did not have [a bilateral] meeting with António Costa. I had tried to arrange a conversation with António Costa to talk about other issues and improve our relationship, but he had to leave early, so it was not possible,” he said.

Costa wants Portugal and Brazil aligned to bring Mercosur closer to Europe
The Prime Minister defended this Tuesday the importance of Portugal and Brazil bringing the European Union (EU) and Mercosur countries closer together.

“I have spoken several times over these intense hours with the President of Brazil about Mercosur […] and how both Portugal and Brazil can help Mercosur and the EU to come closer together,” António Costa said at a press conference before the end of the summit.

Asked about the trade agreement with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela that failed in 2019, the Prime Minister recalled that the political framework in Brazil was different at the time and that then President Jair Bolsonaro “had no commitment to climate change, whose existence he denied”.

Venezuela has been suspended from this agreement since 2017 for non-compliance, including the internalization of tariff regulations.

“Today the President of Brazil is the champion of the defense of the Amazon, he is the champion of the fight against deforestation, the champion of the fight against climate change,” he added.

Lula da Silva optimistic: “I felt the EU was interested in returning to America”
The President of Brazil said on Wednesday that the summit of European Union and Latin American countries went very well and highlights the interest Europe has once again placed in its American partners.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, the Brazilian leader said he believes there will be an agreement between the two blocs by the end of the year.

“The fact that we had the CELAC meeting with the participation of almost 60 countries demonstrated, unequivocally, the interest of the EU in putting its eyes on Latin America,” he noted, assuring that he had never seen “so much political and economic interest” from European countries.

According to the Brazilian President, Brasilia “is recovering the pleasure of doing international politics and its role as a protagonist”.

“I think it is important that Brazil opens up […] and we will not throw away this opportunity,” he said.

Lula da Silva concluded that he was “happy for this meeting”, after having held 10 bilateral meetings and even meeting Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa.

What was the first EU-CELAC summit in eight years, which brought together more than 50 leaders from both regional blocs in Brussels, was marked by differing views on the Ukraine war, notably from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, the latter of which almost blocked the final declaration, which reached consensus at the last minute.

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