India-Brazil bonhomie: President Jair Bolsonaro attends India’s Republic Day celebrations in Brasilia

Brasília: In a rare honor and sign of close ties between India and Brazil, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attended India’s Republic Day celebrations organized by the Indian embassy in the national capital Brasilia and called India a ‘brotherly nation’.

Bolsonaro said that Brazil and India have increasingly drawn closer and closer and expressed, “On this occasion today as we celebrate India’s Republic Day, kindly convey Mr. Ambassador to PM Modi, who I see a close friend, kindly send my best wishes to prosperous India.”

Recalling how India assisted with inputs during the COVID-19 outbreak, Bolsonaro pointed out, “India has also lived up to all of the agreement and the commitments that were undertaken towards Brazil in the course of 2020.” 

New Delhi, notably, had sent HCQ and Paracetamol to the country in 2020 amid coronavirus pandemic.

Bolsonaro’s move to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations is also a significant departure from usual protocol, because usually Presidents and Prime Ministers, especially of big countries, don’t attend the national day events organized by embassies.

The Indian envoy to Brazil, Suresh Reddy told WION, “The two countries have realised the potential to deepen the economic and commercial partnership which is also being reflected in the growth in bilateral trade and the increasing presence of Indian companies in Brazil and from Brazil in India.”

Besides Jair Bolsonaro, the entire cabinet of the Brazilian government was present at the occasion, making it the most well-attended event of recent times. 

Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, Minister for Energy, Mines Petroleum, Minister for infrastructure Tersio, Minister for Communications Fabio Faraia, Minister for Education, Minister for Justice, Minister for Tourism all graced the event. Chief of Naval Forces, Joint Chief of Staff also attended the Republic Day celebrations.

“The presence of a large number of Congressmen also reflected the bipartisan support to this dynamic India-Brazil partnership and increasing diversification of the engagement from energy to defence, from ethanol to tourism”, envoy Reddy added.

Last week, India had sent a commercial supply of 20 lakh doses of India-made COVID-19 vaccines, following which, Bolsonaro thanked India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In 2020, India had invited the Brazilian President as the chief guest of India’s Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath.

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