In a significant diplomatic move, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is scheduled to make his first official visit to Egypt since assuming office in January 2023.
The visit, confirmed by the state-run news agency Agencia Brasil, is to take place on 15-16 February, where President Lula will engage in discussions with his Egyptian counterpart, President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi.
President Lula previously visited Egypt in 2022 as the president-elect, attending the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Sharm El-Sheikh.
This upcoming visit holds strategic importance and occurs as Egypt and Brazil celebrate the 100th anniversary since the establishment of their diplomatic relations.
While the specific agenda for the visit has not been disclosed, it comes in the wake of Egypt’s instrumental role in facilitating the evacuation of stranded Brazilians and their families from Gaza during the ongoing Israeli attacks. Egypt has been actively involved in evacuating foreign nationals from the region since November, showcasing a cooperative effort in times of crisis.
Following his visit to Egypt, President Lula is set to continue his tour, heading to Ethiopia on 17-18 February to attend the Assembly of the African Union’s session for heads of state and government in Addis Ababa. Last week, Lula emphasized the significance of Brazil’s engagement with Africa, expressing a commitment to addressing historical debts owed to the African people.
The diplomatic ties between Egypt and Brazil have seen recent milestones, with the Brazilian government extending an invitation for Egypt to participate as a guest in all G20 meetings during Brazil’s current presidency. This gesture underscores the growing cooperation between the two nations on the global stage.
In a phone conversation last October, Presidents Al-Sisi and Lula discussed the crisis in Gaza, highlighting the importance of humanitarian aid and evacuation efforts. The leaders committed to maintaining regular consultations on ongoing crises, reinforcing their diplomatic and political coordination.
Economically, Brazil stands as Egypt’s largest trade partner in Latin America, with bilateral trade totaling approximately USD 2.4 billion in the first 10 months of 2023.
With Egypt officially joining the BRICS group of major emerging economies in January, both countries anticipate a further boost in economic cooperation in the years to come.
Official data from 2022 and 2023 indicates that Egypt’s trade with BRICS members, including Brazil, amounts to over USD 46 billion, reflecting a substantial portion of the country’s total external trade.
This visit is poised to strengthen diplomatic, political, and economic bonds between Egypt and Brazil, setting the stage for enhanced collaboration on regional and global issues.