Before his visit to Brazil, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier promised German support for the new President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
"My visit is intended to provide an impetus for restarting bilateral relations between our two countries," Steinmeier said before leaving Berlin. He should also give an impulse "for our common goal of protecting the Amazon rainforest, the green lung of our world, from deforestation".
Steinmeier appealed to the world community: "It's not just Brazil that is challenged, we all have a responsibility to protect the climate and our environment and to preserve biodiversity on our planet."
Steinmeier at the inauguration
Steinmeier will attend Lula's inauguration this Sunday in the capital Brasília. He wants to send a signal that Germany sees Brazil as a strategic political and economic partner. Bilateral relations had suffered during the four years in office of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro, who was voted out at the end of October.
Steinmeier said before departure that he was happy to personally congratulate Lula on his inauguration. "We will exchange views on his goals for the presidency and on bilateral issues. Germany is ready to give the new president the best possible support in his ambitious plans to protect the rainforest."
At the same time, Steinmeier expressed his heartfelt condolences to the Brazilians on the death of football legend Pelé. "Pelé has inspired millions of people, not only in the football world, and has won the World Cup three times with the national team. Brazil bids farewell to a great son of the country."