Status: 04.12.2023, 11:14 a.m.
By: Franziska Schwarz
Brazil's President Lula da Silva meets Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin © Evaristo Sa/AFP/Soeren Stache/dpa/Montage: IPPEN. MEDIA
Brazil's President Lula is visiting the Chancellery. Conflict in the Middle East, war in Ukraine – there is disagreement on security security policy in particular.
Berlin – After an eight-year break, this Monday (4 December) the governments of Germany and Brazil will hold comprehensive consultations for the first time. At the meeting between Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the different views on the Israel war are also likely to play a role.
In terms of security policy, there are clear differences between Germany and Brazil, including on the war in Israel and the Ukraine war. Germany advocates humanitarian ceasefires between Israel and the Islamist terrorist organisation Hamas; Brazil recently signed an immediate and lasting humanitarian ceasefire as part of the BRICS group for the fighting in the Israel-Gaza war.
In the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Brazil has long been committed to peace negotiations, while Germany leaves the decision to Ukraine.
Lula meets Scholz in Berlin: Is the Mercosur-EU free trade area coming?
Several ministers on both sides are taking part in the meeting, and nine on the German side. The Chancellery will focus on economic cooperation, energy and climate protection, as well as foreign and security policy. The most exciting question: Can the years of negotiations on a free trade agreement between the South American Economic Community Mercosur and the EU finally be concluded?
The agreement would create one of the world's largest free trade areas with more than 700 million inhabitants. The EU's talks with the four Mercosur states Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay have been going on for well over 20 years. However, an agreement in principle reached in 2019 will not be implemented due to ongoing concerns – such as rainforest protection.
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The Federal Government regularly holds intergovernmental consultations with countries with which it has a particularly close partnership or which are of particularly great strategic importance to Germany. The cabinets of Germany and Brazil met for the first time in Brasília in 2015 to broaden their relations.
Under right-wing populist President Jair Bolsonaro, who earned himself the nickname "Tropical Trump", the consultations were on ice for years. After Lula's return to the Brazilian head of state, the idea was revived.
The meeting in Berlin is also important for the German government because Brazil took over the presidency of the G1 round of leading economic powers on 20 December. But it is also represented in the BRICS group with China, Russia and India, which is seen by many as a competitor to the G7 of Western industrialized countries. (dpa/AFP/frs)