The intensification of relations between Brazil and Africa got a shot in the arm, March 8, when the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, met with the executive president of the African Union Commission, Alpha Oumar Konare, in the Ethiopian capital.
Konare affirmed that it is no longer possible to imagine Africa’s future without establishing partnerships with countries, such as Brazil, that face challenges similar to those facing countries on the African continent.
The president of the African Union Commission wants Brazil to host the 2007 encounter of intellectuals of African descent. Konare, who is an ex-President of Mali, also proposed cooperation projects to transfer Brazil’s experience in dealing with issues such as combatting hunger to Africa.
During the meeting Amorim renewed President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s invitation for Konare to pay another visit to Brazil. Amorim also revealed that Lula will visit at least four African countries this year.
“At the meeting we were able to ascertain a vast range for cooperation in the economic and technical spheres,” Amorim concluded.
Konare, proposed backing Brazil’s leadership of the United Nations peace mission in Haiti. The African leader defended respecting and including different Haitian political groups as a way to reestablish democracy. In Amorim’s view, the conversation conveyed perspectives similar to Brazil’s position in Haiti.
“I also regarded as very important the dialogue on other issues, such as Haiti. Africa, and in particular President Konare, who is a man with considerable experience and who dealt with disarmament in his native country. He was in Haiti and has a very positive perspective, much like ours. We must look ahead and help the Haitian people rebuild themselves.”
Besides the visit to the African Union, the Brazilian delegation also participated in a meeting with the Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Relations. The two countries signed a protocol of intentions in the health field.
The expectation is for Brazil’s experience in malaria treatment and immunization to be transferred to Ethiopia. Other projects should be signed after the definitive installation of the Brazilian Embassy in the Ethiopian capital.
Translation: David Silberstein
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