Chile’s First Woman President in Busy Official Visit to Brazil

The President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, is in an official state visit to Brazil. During her visit Brazil and Chile will sign agreements on environmental protection, mining and energy and the concession of temporary residency papers.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the Bachelet visit, just a month after she took office, is a sign of the "excellent relations and traditional friendship between the two countries."

During a private meeting at the Palácio do Planalto this morning with president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the two heads of state will discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Lula and Bachelet will have a private meeting followed by an expanded meeting with high-ranking officials from both countries. All this will take place at the Brazilian White House, the Palácio do Planalto.

Among other things, the two leaders with discuss the establishment of a permanent joint commission to ensure reliable regional energy supplies.

At the end of the morning, the two presidents will hold a joint news conference in the East Room of the Palácio do Planalto. Following the press conference they will move to the Palácio do Itamaraty (Foreign Ministry) where Bachelet will be the guest of honor for lunch.

Both countries are members of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the initiative against Hunger and Poverty in the South American Community and the G-20.

Bilateral trade in 2005 was US$ 5.31 billion, with a surplus of US$ 1.9 for Brazil. Chile is the seventh biggest importer of Brazilian goods.

Honorary Degree

Bachelet, became the first woman to head the government of her country when she took office on March 11. However, in the history of Latin American she is the sixth woman to head a government.

During her official state visit to Brazil she will receive a Doctor Honoris Causa diploma from the University of Brasí­lia (UnB). Bachelet is a doctor, specializing in surgery, pediatrics and epidemiology. She speaks five languages. She has served as the Chilean minister of Health and the minister of Defense.

ABr

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