Diplomat Antonio Patriota will be Brazil’s new ambassador to Cairo. Patriota was chancellor in the government of former president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff from 2011 to 2013. He then held the position of the Brazilian ambassador to the United Nations (UN) and, more recently, ambassador in Rome.
“Egypt is a country that has been growing at high rates for some years, modernizing with a number of ambitious projects, including a new administrative capital. And with the entry into force of the Mercosur-Egypt agreement, we have a whole field to be explored. Egypt has already become the leading Brazilian trading partner in Africa and the Arab world, ”Patriota said during a meeting with leaders of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in São Paulo this week as part of the preparatory agenda for taking over the embassy.
Patriot demonstrates his belief in the good progress of Brazil’s relations with the Arabs in general, given President Jair Bolsonaro’s trip to the region later this month, Minister Tereza Cristina’s visit and the prospect of the Secretary-General’s coming. Arab League General Ahmed Aboul Gheit to Brazil in 2020. “These moves are positive and signal the interest of a close relationship in search of mutual benefit, but also of mutual respect,” he said.
Trade as a priority
Despite the willingness to take care of all the areas involving the Brazil-Egypt relationship, the diplomat stated that he wants to give priority attention to trade. “The entire economic-trade partnership agenda is in a very promising moment with the entry into force of the 2017 Mercosur-Egypt agreement,” said Patriota, citing other facts that boosted trade relations between the two countries, such as the growth of the economic exchange in recent years.
Patriot said he had a personal preference for the development of the diplomatic and political agenda, and saw Egypt as the heart of the Middle East and the Arab world. The country currently holds the presidency of the African Union, as well as hosting the Arab League. “It will be a very interesting post for observing the dynamics of one of the most complex parts of the international scene,” he says.
In addition to the UN and in Rome, he was also an ambassador in Washington.
The former chancellor hopes to contribute, with his work, to a greater mutual knowledge of culture and societies, and to pay attention to consular issues. “We have some challenges too, Brazilians living in Egypt, some face difficulty, we want to give different attention,” he says.
The diplomat helped to organize the first edition of the South American-Arab Countries (Aspa) Summit in Brasilia in 2005. “I would like to continue to work in this spirit, to develop relations in all areas and to clarify positions and intentions. whenever necessary in order to preserve friendship and good understanding, ”he told ANBA.
In December Antonio Patriota celebrates his 40th diplomatic career but has never served in Africa or the Middle East.
In his long career, Patriota has been close to many Egyptian diplomats and leaders, including current Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, former Chancellor Nabil Fahmy, who is dean of the American University’s School of Global Affairs and Public Policy in Cairo, and former secretary-general of the Arab League, Amr Mussa. “I already arrive in Cairo with some friends who will help me better understand the whole region,” he says.
With information from the Brazil-Arab News Agency