UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield is heading to Brazil next week, following up on recent high-level meetings between the presidents and top diplomats of the two countries.
The U.S. Mission to the United Nations said late Wednesday that she will visit the capital, Brasilia, and then travel to Salvador, one of the oldest cities in the Americas and a center of Afro-Brazilian culture, from May 2-4.
Thomas-Greenfield’s visit follows February’s White House meeting where President Joe Biden and Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stressed the importance of defending democracy and preserving the Amazon rain forest — and talks on the margin of the Group of 20 ministerial meeting in New Delhi in early March between U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira.
Lula has also reached out to China and Russia, traveling to Beijing earlier this month to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing and holding talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Brasilia last week.
The Brazilian president sparked criticism from the U.S. and the European Union for suggesting recently that Kyiv and the West share some responsibility for the conflict in Ukraine, which began with Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.
The U.S. mission said Thomas-Greenfield, a member of Biden’s Cabinet, will focus on promoting democracy and multilateral cooperation on the trip, as well as on combating climate change, safeguarding food security, continuing cooperation on regional migration, “and ensuring equity for marginalized racial, ethnic, and Indigenous communities.”
Brazil, Latin America’s largest country and a major global exporter, is currently serving a two-year term on the U.N. Security Council. The mission said that in Brasilia, the ambassador will meet with government officials “to discuss our partnership in the region and at the United Nations.”
She will also meet Brazilians dealing with the more than 250,000 Venezuelan migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the country and speak at the University of Brasilia, the mission said.
In Salvador, the mission said, Thomas-Greenfield will underscore the U.S. commitment to reinvigorate the 2008 U.S.-Brazil Joint Action Plan to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Discrimination and Promote Equality and will engage with Afro-Brazilian civil society and young people.