The President aims to strengthen relations with Argentina and attend a Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit.

Lula (C), accompanied by his wife and Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero (R), during his arrival to the Jorge Newbery Aeroparque Military Air Station in Buenos Aires
Lula (C), accompanied by his wife and Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero (R), during his arrival to the Jorge Newbery Aeroparque Military Air Station in Buenos Aires (Courtesy of Argentinian Foreign Ministry / AFP)

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has travelled to Argentina in his first trip abroad since assuming office on January 1.

The purpose of Lula's visit is to strengthen bilateral relations and to participate in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit.
Accompanied by his wife, Rosangela, and a number of officials, Lula arrived on Sunday shortly after 9pm at Ezeiza International Airport, where he was met by Argentina's Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero and the Argentine ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Scioli.
Cafiero described Lula’s visit on Twitter as a "great boost for our bilateral relationship" and underscored the Brazilian leader's "commitment to strengthening Mercosur and CELAC".

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Mending ties

Mercosur, or the Southern Common Market, is a South American economic and political bloc whose full members are Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.
On Twitter, Lula said on Sunday night that "intense work" lies ahead in terms of restoring the partnership between the two Latin American nations.

He will meet on Monday with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez with the aim of strengthening relations between their countries.

Lula and Fernandez are also expected to discuss a gas pipeline to Brazil and financing for it.

On Tuesday Lula will attend the CELAC summit alongside a number of heads of state in the capital Buenos Aires
Cafiero told the Financial Times on Sunday that Argentina and Brazil are pushing for the creation of a common currency called the "Sur" (South) aimed at driving regional business and reducing reliance on the US dollar.

During Lula's visit to Argentina, he is also expected to hold a meeting with Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, according to local daily Infobae.

Fernandez met with Lula after he was sworn in as president in early January, pledging to fully restore relations after a complicated four years during the tenure of far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro and underscoring that Lula's return to power marks Brazil’s "return to international forums."

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Source: AA