Lula welcomes Blinken amid diplomatic crisis between Brazil and Israel over Gaza

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met with the head of US diplomacy Antony Blinken this Wednesday in a meeting of almost two hours, which coincides with the serious diplomatic crisis between Brazil and Israel, which the South American president himself opened Was. Compare the attack on Gaza to genocide. “I would say it was a frank conversation, making it clear that we do not agree with those comments (by the Brazilian president),” a senior State Department official told Reuters after the meeting, according to Reuters. It is a personal matter for Blinken, whose stepfather survived the Holocaust. After the meeting, the US announced that the two countries would “work together bilaterally, regionally and globally.” And the Brazilian Presidency has reported that Lula has stressed the urgency of ending the wars in Gaza and Ukraine, and both agreed on the need to create a Palestinian state. He has also talked about Venezuela.

Blinken, who met Lula in Brasilia, attended the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in Rio de Janeiro in the afternoon with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and other colleagues from the world’s major economies. This is the second in-person meeting between the two since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly two years ago. The heads of US and Russian diplomacy had a brief face-to-face meeting at the last G-20 summit in New Delhi.

The discrepancies between the US and Brazil over Gaza and Ukraine are glaring. Although Israeli intervention in the Strip has already killed more than 29,000 Palestinians, the majority of whom are women, children and teenagers, Washington has once again put first its close political and military alliance with Israel and the Security Council. Vetoed the third proposal. Time for the United Nations to demand a ceasefire. Lula has demanded an immediate ceasefire as well as the release of those held hostage by Hamas. Brazil is in favor of a negotiated solution to Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Brazil’s Foreign Minister, diplomat Mauro Vieira, in his welcome speech urged his G-20 colleagues to use brazil recipe To resolve differences between countries: more dialogue and confidence-building, and less use of military force, threats, sanctions or spying. “We talk about this from experience, not from idealism,” he said, stressing that the G-20 is perhaps the only forum in which “countries with opposing viewpoints still sit at the same table and have productive dialogue” without conflict. Beyond that happens in the Security Council.

The Brazilian President has already said in Egypt last week that there is a shortage of pacifist countries and an abundance of belligerent countries in the highest decision-making body of the United Nations. Russian and American veto power has neutralized all efforts to stop the war in Gaza and Ukraine through the United Nations.

Mediation between Venezuela and Guyana

In their morning meeting, Lula and Blinken also discussed the situation in Venezuela. The US thanked the President for Brazilian efforts to mediate between Venezuela and Guyana. Washington considers Brazil an ally in its efforts to allow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to hold democratic elections in the coming months, an objective that seems impractical at this time given the staunch refusal of Chavista officials to allow the opposition Is. The candidate, María Corina Machado, will run in the election.

Lula, who attempted to remove Maduro from diplomatic boycott in the first months of his mandate, has in recent weeks maintained a conspicuous silence on Chavismo’s most recent maneuver to prevent democratic elections.

The Brazilian President has been widely criticized in the local press for his double standards: on the one hand, he condemns Israel’s war in Gaza as genocide. And, at the same time, they are very indifferent, at least publicly, to the authoritarian movements in Venezuela and Nicaragua. Lula’s team considers it a priority to keep channels open with both Latin American regimes in order to exert discretionary pressure on them.

For the United States, it is also important to strengthen cooperation with Brazil on rare metals supplies and crisis-hit Haiti.

Brazil will hold the rotating presidency of the G-20 until December. It is one of the few highly populated countries, perhaps the only one, that has good relations with all the major international powers. He claims that he has practically no disputes with anyone. This is why the level of bitterness in the conflict with Israel is so surprising. The Netanyahu government reacted indifferently to Lula’s comparison between Gaza and the extermination of the Jews: he announced that he would not be welcomed into the Jewish state unless he withdrew and the Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, threatened the Brazilian ambassador. scolded publicly. In the Holocaust Museum.

Lula refused to back down and the crisis was made worse by diplomatic gestures, more statements and tweets, which Brazilian diplomacy considered lies or Israeli misrepresentations, until it reached the level of high-voltage verbal confrontation. Yes, there is nothing new in Israel but yes, in Brazil.

The wars in Gaza and Ukraine and the international situation are the main topics of debate on the first day of the meeting between G-20 foreign ministers. Thursday will be devoted to medium-term proposals such as reform of multilateral organizations. Prominent among the absentees from the Rio meeting was the foreign minister of China, Brazil’s partner in the recently expanded BRICS. The Rio event is a preparatory meeting for the summit of heads of state to be held in Rio in November.

This year, Brazil has the rotating presidency of the club that brings together the world’s 19 largest economies and the European Union, which accounts for 85% of the world’s GDP, two-thirds of the population and 75% of global trade. . The African Union (55 states) participates for the first time in this event held in Rio de Janeiro.

The three priority issues of the Lula government for this presidency of the G-20 are the fight against hunger and poverty, the energy transition in its various aspects and the reform of the UN Security Council, the IMF and the WTO so that it reflects the current power. On balance, not at the end of World War II.

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