Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil for the third time, will arrive in Spain on the 25th of this month for a visit in which he will meet with King Felipe VI and with the president of the government, Pedro Sánchez. His mediation plan in the war in Ukraine, as well as the free trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union (EU), will be the focus of the meetings.

The 77-year-old leftist leader will visit Madrid on the 25th and 26th with another important issue in mind, the coincidence of Spain and Brazil in the rotating presidencies of the EU and Mercosur. Brasilia's intention is to advance the free trade agreement between the two areas of economic integration, an objective that the Madrid government also has.

"We are interested in a balanced agreement with real gains for the Brazilian economy, both in trade and investment, and in preventing the environment, a very dear issue for Brazil, from being used as a pretext for protectionism," Mauro Vieira, Brazil's foreign minister, made clear shortly after taking office on Jan. 1.

The Brazilian president will arrive in Spain after visiting Portugal, where he will participate in the celebrations around the 49th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution. Lula will be received at the Royal Palace by the King, where he will be entertained with a lunch. Spain is, after the United States, the largest foreign investor in the South American giant, with a special presence in areas such as finance, services, energy and infrastructure.

"With the visits to Lisbon and Madrid, the presidential diplomacy of the new government closes the first round of high-level visits with the most important partners and regions: Argentina, in January; United States, in February; China, in April. And now Europe," a senior official who deals daily with Foreign Minister Vieira told EL MUNDO. "Rebuilding bridges with the world was Lula's watchword for the first hundred days of his new administration, and he has achieved it," he added.

The visit by the head of Latin America's largest economy comes almost 20 years after his first as president, in September 2003. At that time he was received by King Juan Carlos and the president of the government, José María Aznar. Celso Amorim, his then foreign minister, is now his main adviser on international policy.

Amorim has been deploying contacts of all kinds for months to carry out Lula's plan to mediate between Moscow and Kiev in the war in Ukraine, a company that he wants to face together with India, Indonesia and South Africa. Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, will visit Brasilia next week.

  • Brazil
  • Pedro Sanchez
  • European Union
  • Lula da Silva

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