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U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken met with Brazilian President Lula da Silva for two hours today in Brasilia, prior to Blinken’s heading off to Rio de Janeiro for the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting. From accounts in the Brazilian press, the meeting appears to have been friendly—Blinken described it as “great”—focusing on bilateral matters of interest but avoiding any sharp polemics on the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Blinken recounted several bilateral issues on which the two are “partnering”—energy transition, food security, infrastructure in Africa, agriculture, improving workers’ rights in the U.S., etc.

The backdrop to the meeting was Lula’s attack on Israel’s Nazi policies against Gaza and Israel’s declaring Lula persona non grata. From both governments’ readouts, discussion was restricted to Blinken expressing the Biden administration’s “disagreement” with Lula’s description of Israel’s policy. The State Department readout, in fact, makes no mention of Brazil and Israel at all, but rather says Blinken thanked Lula for supporting Ukraine’s ridiculous “peace formula,” and commented instead on the U.S.’s engagement in the Gaza conflict, emphasizing its efforts for the release of hostages and increasing delivery of humanitarian aid.

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