Biden Envoy in Brasilia Says Peace Plans Need To Involve Ukraine

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations again expresses disappointment with Lula’s remarks and praises Amorim’s visit to Kyiv.

On Tuesday, May 2, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, again criticized Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s remarks about the war in Ukraine during her visit to Brazil.

The American diplomat also stressed that every initiative in search of peace must necessarily include Ukraine, a country that was invaded by Russia, in response to Lula’s proposal to create a “peace club” with countries that Brazil considers to be non-aligned with any side in the conflict. At the same time, Thomas-Greenfield praised the initiative to send Brazilian special adviser Celso Amorim to Kyiv.

Thomas-Greenfield is on a four-day trip to Brazil, where she will meet with authorities in Brasilia and Salvador.

In the federal capital, she was received by the first lady, Rosângela Lula da Silva (or Janja) and Minister of Foreign Relations Mauro Vieira. Thomas-Greenfield told Minister Vieira about the United States’ objections to Lula’s remarks.

“We did discuss this issue [Lula’s statements]. I expressed, as the government has heard before, our disappointment in the statements that were made. But I will say that Brazil consistently voted for resolutions condemning Russia in the Security Council – as recently as February 23rd of this year, they voted for a peace resolution on Ukraine,” she said.

In commenting on Lula’s position about the war between Russia and Ukraine, the ambassador also said that all the countries are welcome to act in favor of peace negotiations. However, she stressed that these initiatives must not leave out Ukraine.

“We encourage countries to engage on issues related to finding a solution to the war, but it is important that as they do that, they have to engage with Ukraine. We cannot move forward in a situation that leaves Ukraine out of the equation,” she asserted.

Thomas-Greenfield also highlighted Brazil’s initiative to send Amorim to Ukraine. The former foreign minister was in Moscow at the beginning of April and was received by President Vladimir Putin. Therefore, his visit to Kyiv would be an important gesture symbolizing the neutrality that Brazilian diplomacy claims to defend, even after the administration of Jair Bolsonaro.

Lula’s statements about the war in Ukraine have generated reaction from Western powers. The Brazilian president has already said that Russia and Ukraine are both responsible for the conflict. He also said that the United States and the European Union are contributing to prolonging the war. Lula asserted that Russia could not keep the Ukrainian territory occupied during the invasion, but Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also cannot have everything he thinks he will want.

However, given the negative repercussions of these remarks, Lula has been more cautious in speaking about the conflict in recent weeks, especially after receiving Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

This Tuesday, the American ambassador was questioned about the recent close relationship between Brazil and China but avoided comment and talked about the relationship between Brasilia and Washington.

“[O]ur position is that we don’t tell countries, sovereign countries, who to choose to partner with. What we’re here to discuss is our partnership – we have a very strong partnership with the country and with the people of Brazil. We have strong investments here in this country. More than 700,000 jobs have been created by U.S. investments in Brazil, and equally, jobs have been created in the United States,” she said.

Thomas-Greenfield also affirmed she had discussed the situation in Haiti with Vieira. The Caribbean country, which hosted a mission from the U.N. for 15 years, militarily commanded by Brazil, is again suffering from a spiral of crises, violence and instability. Thomas-Greenfield said the situation in Haiti is a priority for those two countries and that Brazil is a “key partner” in this matter.

“We did talk about Haiti. It’s clearly a priority for both of our countries. As you know, in the Security Council we have been addressing the issues there for some time. The Haitian Government asked for security support, and we are continuing to engage with Brazil, as well as other countries on the Security Council – as well as others outside the Council – on how we can more effectively support the security concerns of Haiti,” she said.

Thomas-Greenfield, an integral part of President Joe Biden’s team, also avoided commenting on Brazil’s pretensions to a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. However, she stressed that the American president has already been shown to favor reforming the Security Council to include new, permanent and elected members, adding countries from other parts of the world, such as Latin America.

“And he [President Biden] very explicitly said that we support inclusion of countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Africa,” Thomas-Greenfield said, adding that this will be a “democratic process.”

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About Jane Dorwart 201 Articles
BA Anthroplogy. BS Musical Composition, Diploma in Computor Programming. and Portuguese Translator.

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