By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The newly appointed foreign relations’ minister in Brazil, José Serra, announced on Wednesday (May 18th) the new strategies which will guide the country’s foreign policy, moving away from what he called ideological preferences to the general values of the Brazilian society.
According to Serra, in addition to reflecting ‘in a transparent manner’ the country’s economic interests, the policies will also be in line with the defense of democracy and human rights, as well as international environmental agreements signed by the country. “Our foreign policy will be governed by the values of the state and nation, not the government and never a party,” said Serra.
The former health and planning minister under the Cardoso Administration said that the Foreign Relations Ministry, also referred to as Itamaraty, would focus on strengthening current partnerships and making new ones. “We must and we will overcome this lag and recover lost opportunities. We will begin a swift process of trade negotiations to open markets for our exports and create jobs for our workers,” he added.
Serra noted that although he will seek to expand Brazil’s partnership with European countries and the United States, his priority will be the bilateral partnership between Brazil and neighbor Argentina as well as increasing trade relations with China and India. Serra has chosen Argentina the destination of his first trip abroad as Foreign Minister.
According to analysts, interim president Michel Temer’s administration is trying to somewhat distance itself from some of the Rousseff’s administration allies, such as the government of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.
Late last week, Serra, already as head of the Foreign Relations Ministry issued a statement accusing the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba Ecuador and Nicaragua of ‘spreading lies’, when these questioned the legitimacy of the impeachment trial process against suspended President Dilma Rousseff.