A delegation led by Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, will visit five African countries (Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Nigeria, and Cameroon), beginning next week.
In an interview with Brazil’s state radio Radiobrás, the head of the Africa Department of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Pedro Motta, recalled that the visit reflects the decision by President Lula’s Administration to assign priority to relations with South America and Africa.
“It is part of the process of approximation established as a priority by the President. Brazil recognizes that these are countries that are attempting to consolidate their democracies,” he remarked.
For Motta, Senegal and Nigeria are also important to Brazil in commercial terms.
“Senegal is a regional leader, and, together with Nigeria, their annual trade with Brazil already stands at over US$ 3 billion,” he affirmed.
Nigeria has the world’s largest black population, is a larger exporter of petroleum, and currently occupies the presidency of the African Union.
After participating in a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Amorim traveled, January 13, to Trinidad and Tobago. There he met with Chancellor Knowlson Giff to discuss bilateral issues.
In a joint communiqué released by the two countries, the chancellors recognized “the importance of coordinating the positions of South American and Caribbean countries in international and hemispheric trade negotiations,” especially in the negotiations involving the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), retaining respect for the specific characteristics of their respective economies.
In Cape Verde, where his trip will begin, the Minister will further the dialogue established by President Lula with President Pedro de Verona Rodrigues Pires.
Translation: David Silberstein