Biden invites Brazilian Lula to visit the White House

Biden invites Brazilian Lula to visit the White House

US President Joe Biden invited Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to visit the White House on Monday, which could take place after he takes office on Dec 1 from January.

The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, met with Lula in Brasilia for almost two hours and they talked about strengthening democracy in the Americas, the fight against climate change and the situation in Haiti and Venezuela.

Lula said on social media that Sullivan extended an invitation from Biden to visit the White House.

“I am excited to speak with President Biden and deepen the relationship between our countries,” Lula tweeted.

The leftist leader won Brazil’s presidential election in October, defeating far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, who was an ally of former President Donald Trump and was the last G20 leader to acknowledge Biden’s victory in 2020.

Lula’s top foreign policy adviser, former Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, told reporters after the meeting that no date had been set for a visit to the White House.

Lula told Sullivan that he might have to wait until after he takes office in January, he added.

Sullivan mentioned the possible need for an international security force for Haiti, given the dire situation, Amorim said, but a new contribution from Brazil was not discussed.

According to Amorim, Sullivan highlighted the importance of Lula’s victory in strengthening democracy in the region.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly criticized Brazil’s electronic voting system, claiming without evidence that it lends itself to fraud, and has failed to acknowledge Lula’s victory.

Sullivan also mentioned the importance of holding elections in Venezuela that can be considered fair, according to Amorim.

Sullivan was accompanied at the meeting with Lula by Ricardo Zúñiga, Principal Under Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Juan González, Principal Director of the National Security Council for the Western Hemisphere.

Ben Oakley
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