It's all set: Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will meet US President Barack Obama this coming March, in Washington. Obama, invited Lula for the meeting during a phone call initiated by the American president, this Monday, January 26. Lula was already scheduled to be in New York in March for a seminary on biofuels where he will meet foreign investors.
Lula reciprocated inviting Obama to visit Brazil. The US leader accepted and although no date was set up, Obama said that he might visit Brasília during the summer, American summer, that is. The two leaders talked for about 25 minutes.
According to Marcelo Baumbach, Lula's spokesman, the Brazilian president during his chat with Obama talked among other things about US relations with Latin America and Africa, the G20 (group of the world's 20 largest economies). biofuels, climatic changes and world peace.
Obama, on the other hand, talked about his desire to establish a partnership with Brazil. Lula didn't mention, however, a subject he has often said he would like to see the new president tackle: the US embargo to Cuba, which Lula opposes.
The Brazilian leader mentioned during the phone conversation stretches of Obama's speech about the need to look after the poor.Â "Obama assured that he wishes to work in concert with president Lula in order to reinforce peace and stability in the continent and strengthen the economic relations between both countries," said Baumbach.
"President Obama informed that he has already briefed his economic team so they may coordinate with Brazil in order to conciliate positions for the next G20 summit. Regarding biofuels, he recognized that the work with Brazil has been very important for the United States, which has a lot to benefit from a cooperation with Brazil," added the spokesperson.
Obama showed also interest in advancing the Doha Round negotiations arguing about the importance of the world trade in order to face the current international economic crisis.
Brazil's Foreign minister, Celso Amorim, and the US secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, were expected to talk on Monday by phone to discuss details of president Lula's visit as well as the meeting's agenda.
At the end of the conversation both president seemed very comfortable with each other. Obama asked Lula to call him simply Barack. To which the Brazilian leader asked to be called Lula.
Lula told Obama that he had seen the inauguration ceremony in Washington and had noticed that there were some black people and some poor. He said that he understood that because Brazil is the world's second largest black country.
The American president then commented, according to a presidential aide who listened to the conversation: "I know. If I went to Brazil everyone would think that I am Brazilian, that is until I tried to speak Portuguese."
Lula also told Obama that his election will change the image that Latin America and the world have about the US. "Your election transcends the United States," he asserted.