Getting Brazil Close to Arabs Is a Lula’s Pet Project

The South America – Arab Countries Summit crowns two years of mutual efforts to approximate the two regions. Relations between Brazil and the Middle East grew more intense after President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s visit to Syria, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Libya in December, 2003.

Commercial agreements were signed at that time, and seminars were held on investment and business opportunities.


The last trip by a Brazilian head of state had been in 1876, when Emperor Don Pedro II paid an unofficial visit to Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt.


More than a century later, in 2003, prior to the presidential mission to the Arab countries, Brazil became the first Latin American observer at the Arab League, and President Lula was the first Brazilian head of state to attend a meeting of the organization.


Still in 2003, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri, came to Brazil, at which time the decision was made to establish a high-level bilateral commission to expand commercial exchanges.


Last year Brazil hosted two events intended to identify potential areas of exchange with the Arabs.


One was a seminar on Arab culture, in São Paulo. The other was a seminar on Scientific and Technical Cooperation between South America and the Arab Countries on Semi-Arid Regions and the Management of Water Resources, which brought together specialists from 13 countries in the northeastern Brazilian city of Fortaleza.


In 2004, Brazil also opened an office of representation in Ramalah, Palestine, and named a Special Ambassador for Middle Eastern affairs, in order to play a more active part in international efforts to advance the peace process in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinean nation.


The initiatives to intensify relations between Brazil and the Middle East continued this year. In February, Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, visited 10 Arab countries.


In March, he participated in the 17th Arab League Summit, in Algiers. And in April, Brazil received the first visit of a Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ambassador Amre Moussa.


Cultural, political, and commercial motives justify Brazil’s interest in intensifying its relations with the Middle East. Brazil possesses the world’s largest community of Arab descendants outside of the Arab world – over ten million Brazilians have ancestors from the region.


In the economic sphere, the possibilities for increasing trade are great, as Brazil still supplies only 2% of the US$ 239 billion in goods imported from all over the world by the Arabs.


Agência Brasil

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil Confirms Its Santos Find Has Up to 4 Billion Barrels of Light Oil and Gas

Brazil's state-controlled oil and gas multinational Petrobras has just announced that the completion of ...

Brazil and Poor at WTO Meeting Urge Rich Nations to End Farm Subsidies

The Global Call to Action Against Poverty, the largest international alliance for the elimination ...

Brazil’s Gol Airline Ranks Second in Corporate Governance

Brazilian Airline Gol was ranked second among non-bank companies in "The Best Governed Major ...

Brazil Earmarks US$ 1.8 Million for Stem Cell Research

Following the approval of the Biosecurity Law last week, the Brazilian government announced that ...

Worker cuts sugar cane in Brazil

Brazil’s Ethanol Producers Call the US’s Free-Trade Bluff

Contrary to the usual outcome of Washington’s subsidies to U.S. farmers, recent grants for ...

Brazil’s Açaí­ Berry Shown to Kill Cancer Cells in Florida University Study

A Brazilian berry popular in health food contains antioxidants that destroyed cultured human cancer ...

Brazilian Currency, the Real, Too Strong for Its Own Good

The Brazilian central bank must keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged for the time ...

The new orthography digested

Every few years the self-appointed owners of the Portuguese idiom, the grammarians, decide to ...

Brazil: Ex-Chief Justice Assails Lula

Recently retired from the presidency of Brazil’s Supreme Court, Maurício Corrêa is pulling no ...

A peasant from Petrolina, Pernambuco, in the Brazilian Northeast

The US-Brazil Accord on Ethanol Is Good for GDP But Very Bad for Rural Poor

During Bush’s visit to Brazil thousands of poor, rural members of the international Via ...