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Former Brazilian President Lula boards plane to Colombia for talks with Petro on Venezuelan elections

The Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, traveled to Colombia this Tuesday, where he will discuss with his counterpart Gustavo Petro the bilateral and regional agenda, attend a business forum and inaugurate the Bogotá International Book Fair.

Lula will be received by Petro on Wednesday at the Casa de Nariño and among the regional issues that will be on the table is the electoral process underway in Venezuela, against which both Brazil and Colombia have expressed their “concern” about the obstacles to registration of candidates opposing Nicolás Maduro.

“The regional situation is an issue that must be addressed” and the process for the elections on July 28 in Venezuela is “of interest to both countries,” which insist on promoting a dialogue that guarantees “transparency” in the elections, he said. the director for South America of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, João Queiroz.

According to official Brazilian sources, bilaterally the meeting will focus on cooperation issues in the areas of borders, combating hunger, agriculture, sustainable development, bioenergy, combating climate change and gender equality, among others.

Likewise, an ambitious road infrastructure plan proposed by Brazil to the countries of South America will be discussed, which aims at the construction of an extensive road network and has the endorsement of the main regional financial organizations.

Lula and Petro will also analyze trade alternatives, both bilaterally and regionally, which include a push for the integration of South American production chains.

Brazil is today Colombia’s third largest trading partner, behind the United States and China.

According to official data, in 2023 bilateral trade totaled 6.1 billion dollars, with the balance tilted in favor of Brazil, which exported products worth 3.8 billion dollars.

Both governments intend to expand this exchange, which will be discussed in a forum that will bring together 300 businessmen from both countries and will be closed by Lula this Wednesday.

Lula’s trip has as an excuse the inauguration of the XXXVI International Book Fair of Bogotá, one of the most relevant cultural events in Colombia, dedicated in this edition to Brazil.

The Brazilian president will attend the opening of the fair with Petro, where he will also be accompanied by his Minister of Culture, Margareth Menezes, who will remain in the Colombian capital until Saturday and is part of the delegation along with five other members of the cabinet.

With information from EFE

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