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German FM calls Brazil to align more with the West

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Euractiv | 7 June 2023

German FM calls Brazil to align more with the West

By Nick Alipour

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has called on Brazil to align with other democracies on geopolitical matters, particularly regarding its stance on the Ukraine war and China, and is offering a closer relationship in exchange.

Brazil is the only country among emerging democracies that have so far backed all UN resolutions against Russia’s war in Ukraine but still refuses to send Ukraine aid. Brazil also maintains a particularly close relationship with China, its top trading partner.

“Security and development are not opposites. They depend on each other,” Baerbock said at the Digital Democracy Festival in São Paulo, pointing to the global impact of rising food prices due to the war, warning that democracies could thus not show restraint in geopolitical questions.

“Let’s reach out and shape a future together that all of us can benefit from,” Baerbock added.

The still not yet ratified EU-Mercosur trade deal could be among the main keys to the rapprochement of like-minded democratic states as it would “make it clear that democracies when they work together, can solve global challenges,” said Baerbock.

The EU has been negotiating a free trade agreement with the Mercosur group of states – which includes Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay – since 1999. A summit of European, Latin American and Caribbean leaders on 17 July could provide new impulses on the matter.

Baerbock’s visit aligns with increased efforts of Western governments to win over allies among emerging economies in their ongoing geopolitical feuds with Russia and China.

“We have to strengthen and support people around the world who stand up for human rights and democracies and find new ways to cooperate,” Anna Lührmann, a junior minister in the Foreign Ministry, said Tuesday during a panel debate at the Europaforum. This includes Brazil, where people had voted against the autocratic tendencies of the previous government at the last election, she added.

Earlier in the day, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius kicked off his visit to India, another democratic member of the BRICS group, where he is hoping to make progress on a submarine deal between the two countries to strengthen military ties.

 source: Euractiv