Visit to ECFA by Brazilian Ambassador to Egypt Antonio Patriota
On December 7, 2021, the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs hosted Mr. Antonio Patriota, the Brazilian ambassador to Egypt, accompanied by First Secretary Pablo Romero, to speak about the developments of Egypt-Brazil relations, Arab-Latin cooperation, BRICS, and Brazil’s vision for the situation in the Middle East and the world. The meeting was opened by Ambassador Dr. Mounir Zahran, ECFA Chairman; and also attended by ECFA Director and a number of ECFA members.
On his part, Ambassador Patriota reviewed aspects of Egypt-Brazil relations, pointing out that Egypt is Brazil’s first trade partner in Africa, and that trade relations between the two countries doubled from $200 million to $400 million, as Egyptian exports, while Egypt’s imports exceed $1 billion per year. He also noted that the Mercosur agreement with Egypt came into force in 2017, while the Egyptian territories, with their qualitative achievements over the past few years, have become attractive for Brazilian investors, and there are arrangements to inaugurate an EgyptAir airline to connect Egypt with Brazil, and there is a similar arrangement to send Brazilians who are sentenced in cases held by Egypt to their countries to serve their sentences there.
On the other hand, the guest pointed out that the Brazilian Foreign Ministry has undergone drastic changes several months ago, mainly changing the Foreign Minister, who was sympathetic to former U.S. President Trump’s Administration, and a critic of the Biden Administration. This is with the expectation that the upcoming presidential elections in Brazil next year, and the ability of former President Lula da Silva to pass in these elections, will be followed by the appointment of a foreign minister who has a more positive orientation towards Egypt and the Arab region, which will result in strengthening relations between the two sides in all fields.
The guest also indicated that Brazil strongly supports the establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and that Brazil will join the UN Security Council next year as a non-permanent member, for the eleventh time in the history of the Security Council, enabling it to play a strong role in the international arena. He also stressed that Egypt and Brazil are active countries in international peacekeeping operations, and that it is important to cooperate between the two countries in joint training operations.