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Macron and Lula launch defense submarine in Brazil

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The presidents of France and Brazil launched a submarine made in the South American nation using French technology, as the two nations strengthen their defense ties.

Emmanuel Macron is the first French president to visit Brazil in 11 years after ties between Paris and Brasília deteriorated during Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency.

The submarine launch follows Macron and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announcing a $1.1 billion plan to protect the Amazon. Other more “thorny subjects” such as regional trade deals and Russia’s war in Ukraine are also expected to feature in talks during the French leader’s trip this week.

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Presidents look to signal political alignment

Source:  Le Monde

The meetings between Macron and Lula send a signal to politicians in France, Brazil, and beyond: By meeting with Macron, a left-leaning European, Lula is sending a message to right-leaning and centrist politicians in his coalition government, French newspaper Le Monde noted. Meanwhile, Macron “is hoping to pull the rug out from under his own opposition by standing with one of the world’s most popular left-wing figures, just over two months before the European elections,” the paper noted.

France and Brazil diverge on key issues

Source:  Politico

For months, Macron has opposed Brazilian beef exports and blocked a trade deal between Mercosur, South America’s biggest trading body — of which Brazil is a member —, and the EU in an attempt to placate angry French farmers who feel their products are being undermined. Paris is hoping to avoid conversations about the deal during Macron’s trip, but diplomats familiar with the meetings believe that talks about beef exports will inevitably come up, Politico reported. The nations don’t just diverge on trade: Lula has so far said he would remain neutral on the Russia-Ukraine war, while Macron has pushed for Western nations to up their commitments to Ukraine. Separately, Lula has described Israel’s military campaign in Gaza as a genocide, a marked shift from many Western countries. “Macron and Lula have a vision of the world that is not necessarily the same, but they are each taking steps towards each other,” one political scientist told Politico.

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