Brazil's Bolsonaro recognises Biden victory and reaches out to president-elect

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Brazil's Bolsonaro Recognises Biden Victory And Reaches Out To President-Elect Brazil's Bolsonaro Recognises Biden Victory And Reaches Out To President-Elect
Mr Bolsonaro acknowledged Mr Biden's victory after it was confirmed by the US Electoral College. Photo: AP/Press Association Images.
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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden for his November 3rd election victory.

The move means Mr Bolsonaro has finally accepted the loss of Donald Trump, a political idol with whom he had sought to forge closer bilateral ties.

Mr Biden's victory and Mr Bolsonaro's reluctance to recognise it have cast a dark cloud over US-Brazilian relations, which had warmed to the point of discussing a free trade deal last year.

Mr Biden is likely to take a tougher line on Brasilia in areas such as the environment, human rights and trade, leaving the far-right Mr Bolsonaro even more isolated on the global stage.

I will be ready to work with you and continue to build a Brazil-USA alliance

"Greetings to the President Joe Biden, with my best wishes and the hope that the USA will remain 'the land of the free and the home of the brave,'" Mr Bolsonaro said in a statement published by Brazil's Foreign Ministry.

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"I will be ready to work with you and continue to build a Brazil-USA alliance, in defense of sovereignty, democracy and freedom around the world, as well as in trade integration."

Mr Bolsonaro, a former army captain, was one of the last global leaders to acknowledge Mr Biden's victory, doing so only after it was confirmed by the US Electoral College on Monday.

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Echoing Mr Trump, Mr Bolsonaro previously voiced concerns about alleged widespread US fraud in the November vote, without citing evidence. Mr Trump has continued to make unfounded claims about fraud and refused to concede.

Mr Biden's victory leaves Mr Bolsonaro without a key diplomatic ally and further undermines his approach to the Covid-19 pandemic, whose gravity, like Mr Trump, he has often sought to play down.

Fresh US pressure to curb deforestation in the Amazon and spur global action against climate change has already caused friction with Mr Bolsonaro, who bristled at Mr Biden's comments along those lines during a pre-election presidential debate.

Frostier relations with Washington could ironically push Mr Bolsonaro closer to China, some experts say. A longtime China skeptic, Mr Bolsonaro may come to rely more on the world's No. 2 economy – Brazil's biggest trade partner – if environmental and human rights issues crimp the US-Brazil trade agenda.

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