Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva engaged in a crucial conversation with Spanish Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday, emphasizing the urgency of finalizing the trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union (EU), as confirmed by the Brazilian Presidency.
The two leaders held a 30-minute discussion in anticipation of an upcoming round of negotiations between the Mercosur bloc (comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay) and the EU, set to take place next week.
Both leaders concurred that the timing was ideal for bringing the negotiations to a close, recognizing an auspicious opportunity, given Brazil’s current presidency of Mercosur and Spain’s presidency of the European Council, as per a statement released by the Brazilian Presidency.
Lula underscored the protracted nature of the negotiations, spanning over two decades, and voiced his reservations regarding recent EU demands for the inclusion of environmental clauses in the trade agreement.
He highlighted Brazil’s significant strides toward sustainable energy, noting that a substantial 80 per cent of the nation’s energy production is derived from clean sources. Additionally, Lula drew attention to Brazil’s ongoing struggle with the adverse effects of climate change, including drought in the Amazon.
In preparation for the 28th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, scheduled to commence at the end of the month in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Brazil intends to present a joint proposal in collaboration with other countries that are home to extensive tropical rainforests, as announced by the president.
Lula extended an invitation to Sanchez to visit Brazil, which the Spanish leader expressed keen interest in, with plans to visit later in the year.
Sanchez acknowledged the imperative need to bring the trade deal to a conclusion and offered to initiate new high-level talks to expedite the agreement’s finalization.