Biden to meet with Lula
Amsterdam, dec 5th 2022 — Sometime this month, probably after 12 December Brazilian president-elect Lula da Silva will be meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House. The news was confirmed in Washington and in Lula’s headquarters.
“I can confirm that we are planning for a visit,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters. “We look forward to welcoming president Lula here at the appropriate time.” Lula will take office on January first.
It was also reported that Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, is traveling to Brazil on Monday to meet with Lula, as well as with members of outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.
Lula said he and Sullivan would “hold talks and discuss the date” for a visit to Washington — probably after December 12, the day his victory is formally ratified by Brazil’s electoral tribunal, he told a news conference in Brasilia.
US-Brazilian relations chilled since Biden in 2020 defeated former president Donald Trump, a close ally of conservative Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.
But ties look set to warm under Lula. Biden was one of the first world leaders to congratulate him on his election win.
“I think we have a lot to say to each other,” Lula said.
“The United States is facing the same problems with democracy as Brazil. The damage Trump did to American democracy is the same as what Bolsonaro did to Brazil.”
Diplomatic issues on the table will include ”US-Brazilian relations, Brazil’s role in the new geopolitics (and) the unnecessary Ukraine war,“ Lula said.
The Biden administration will also likely be keen to discuss climate policy, after four years of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon under agribusiness ally Bolsonaro.
Lula vowed last month at the UN climate conference in Egypt — which Bolsonaro skipped — to fight for zero deforestation in Brazil’s 60% share of the world’s biggest rainforest, a key resource in the fight to curb climate change.
The president elect said he would also begin naming his cabinet ministers after December 12 — with markets particularly anxious over his pick for finance minister, amid concerns about how his government will pay for his promised social spending.
The White House said Sullivan will be accompanied by other officials from the NSC and the State Department when he visits Brasilia on Monday.
He will meet with Brazilian Secretary for Strategic Affairs
Admiral Flavio Rocha, President-elect Lula da Silva, and Senator Jaques Wagner,” NSC spokeswoman Watson said, referring to an important ally of Lula.