The president of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, received this Tuesday (24) the president of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, at the Planalto Palace.
Embaló is a general, he was prime minister of his country and, since his inauguration in 2020, he has been criticized by the opposition because of an authoritarian shift. The president of Guinea-Bissau is called by Bolsonaro the “Bolsonaro of Africa”.
To make the visit possible, the Brazilian government sent an aircraft in the Air Force (FAB) to fetch Embaló. The president of Guinea-Bissau was received by Bolsonaro around 11am.
The African leader climbed the palace ramp, posed for photos with the Brazilian president, and together they went to the parlour where they watched a parade of soldiers performing the national anthem, raising the flag, 21-gun salute and a cavalry parade.
According to Itamaraty, the state visit is considered the “most solemn and formal” event in the relationship between the two countries, as leaders can also carry out official visits, at work or privately. After the ceremony, the presidents went to a meeting.
Also present were Ministers Ciro Nogueira (Casa Civil), Tereza Cristina (Agriculture), Milton Ribeiro (Education), Walter Braga Netto (Defense), Luiz Eduardo Ramos (General Secretariat), Anderson Torres (Justice), Marcelo Queiroga (Health ) and Carlos França (Itamaraty).
Embaló and his entourage wore masks, while Bolsonaro and some ministers of the president of Brazil were unprotected.
After the meeting, Bolsonaro and Embaló made a statement to the press. The president of Brazil reported that he spoke with the African leader, whom he called “brother”, about agriculture, health and defense and stressed that Brazil is ready to serve Guinea-Bissau.
“We are rooting for it and, more than that, we are going to collaborate so that he also has, with the participation of Brazil, solutions for his country,” said Bolsonaro.
The president of Brazil also recalled that Guinea-Bissau is the gateway to West Africa and important in the context of defense of the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean.
The president of Guinea-Bissau called Bolsonaro a “friend” and defended expanding and diversifying cooperation between the two countries in areas such as health, agriculture and the economy.
Embaló reinforced that his country could be the gateway to business for Brazil in Africa and invited Bolsonaro to visit in 2021. The Brazilian president declared that he “made a commitment” to visit Guinea-Bissau.
After the meeting, the African leader will have lunch with Bolsonaro at Itamaraty, the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to Itamaraty, Brazil opened an embassy in Guinea-Bissau in 1974, the year in which the independence of the former Portuguese colony was recognized.
Cooperation between countries takes place through direct partnerships or through the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP). Brazil and Guinea-Bissau are among the nine members of the group.
In addition to the meeting this Tuesday (24), Embaló should participate this Wednesday (25), alongside Bolsonaro, in a military ceremony of the Army in Brasília in allusion to the soldier’s day. Embaló still has schedules in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in the coming days.