"On Tuesday 6 October, the European Union and Brazil took stock of their strategic relations by evoking international issues (climate change, economic recovery) and bilateral issues (visa exemption) during their third bilateral summit. Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt recalled how important the strategic partnership launched in July with Brazil was for the EU. Brazil is the “fifth largest nation in terms of population and surface area”, he said (see EUROPE 9462). “I have the impression that we are reaching new heights”, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said, asserting that there was considerable unity of opinion at the G20 on commercial issues, on the need to put appropriate proposals forward on climate change with a view to the Copenhagen conference (see related article). European Commission President José Manuel Barroso took the view that the fact that Rio de Janeiro was to organise the Olympic Games 2016 was a “great sporting victory” that “also reflects the importance of Brazil's role in the world”.
The EU and Brazil trust that implementation of their strategic action plan will also be of benefit to third countries. They reiterate their commitment to launch “triangular cooperation projects” with the developing countries interested such as the Portuguese-speaking African countries, East Timor and Haiti. A joint working programme will be finalised. The development of bio-fuels that are socially and environmentally-friendly are part of the initiatives envisaged. Studies analysing the potential of specific countries regarding the production of sustainable bio-fuels will be launched. When asked about the Honduras issue, Lula said the solution to the political crisis there was “simple” - authorising the return of the democratically elected president and organising elections in November. The president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, is currently a “refugee” or rather the “guest” of the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, he said, in the same way as the Swedish Embassy had hosted Cubans in need at the time of the Chilean dictator Pinochet. In their joint declaration, the EU and Brazil point out that the “inviolability” of embassies is set out in the 1961 Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. The EU and Brazil finally welcome signature of the short stay visa exemption agreement (see EUROPE 9991). Nationals of four member states (Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia and Malta) will no longer be required to have a visa when entering Brazilian territory."