Bolsonaro calls Macron's reception of Lula in Paris a 'provocation'

President Jair Bolsonaro – AFP/Arquivos

President Jair Bolsonaro called this Thursday (25) a “provocation” the fact that his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, received former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the Élysée Palace, in Paris.

“Macron has always been against us, and he has always hit us on the Amazon issue (…) It seems like a provocation, yes,” said Bolsonaro during an interview with Rádio Sociedade, in Bahia.

Macron and Lula “understand each other, speak the same language”, added Bolsonaro.

As part of a tour of Europe, Lula was received last week at the Eliseu Palace for breakfast and a meeting with Macron “on the latest developments on the international stage”.

Lula “shared his vision of Brazil’s role in the world, noting that in the last three years the country has been withdrawing from the multilateral framework and from major international agreements,” Eliseu said in a statement.

The PT leader currently appears as the favorite in the polls for the 2022 presidential elections, although he will not officially announce his candidacy until next year.

In 2019, Bolsonaro had strong disagreements with Macron through social media, after the French president harshly criticized the Brazilian government for the increase in fires in the Amazon.

In January of this year, Bolsonaro asked Macron to stop “talking nonsense” about the impact of soy production on deforestation.

“For God’s sake, Mr. Macron, don’t buy Brazilian soy, because you don’t deforest the Amazon. Buy soy in France”, said the president of Brazil ironically.

Macron is one of the main opponents of the approval of the trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur, mainly due to deforestation in the Amazon.

In Bolsonaro’s third year in office, deforestation has reached record levels since 2006, calling into question Brazil’s promise made at the last COP26 meeting on the climate to reverse this trend and end illegal deforestation by 2028.

Since assuming the presidency in 2019, Bolsonaro has been criticized for weakening environmental watchdogs and favoring agricultural and mining activities in protected areas.

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