Washington, Mar 19 (EFE).- President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he is “very inclined” to make Brazil an official military ally and supports its entry into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Upon meeting at the White House with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for the first time, Trump said that Brazil and the United States “have never been closer than we are right now,” adding that this was “probably” due to the close relationship between the two populist leaders, both of whom exhibit very conservative tendencies.
Trump said that he was “honored” to welcome Bolsonaro, adding that the Brazilian leader has done “a very outstanding job” and “ran one of the incredible campaigns.”
He said – with Bolsonaro at his side – that the pair would discuss trade and added that he was inclined to strike some sort of military alliance with the South American giant, adding “We’re going to look at that very, very strongly in terms of – whether it’s NATO or it’s something having to do with alliance.”
Bolsonaro, meanwhile, emphasized the “change” in leadership in Brazil “after several decades of anti-US presidents.”
“We have many things in common with Mr. Donald Trump and that is, for me, a source of pride and satisfaction. He wants a great United States, I also want a great Brazil. Starting now, Brazil will be in closer contact than ever with the United States,” Bolsonaro said.
When asked whether he supports Brazil’s campaign to join the OECD, Trump responded that he does.
Last year, Brazil formalized its request to join the OECD, considered to be the club of the world’s richest nations, but the process of evaluating such requests can take years and Bolsonaro wants to facilitate that procedure with formal US support.
On this visit, Brazil wants to get the US to start considering it to be a strategic military ally outside NATO, a special status that opens the door to the delivery of certain defense equipment and to organizing joint military maneuvers.
Argentina is the only Latin American country that has attained that status to date, along with 16 other nations around the world.
The two leaders were also planning to speak about the situation in Venezuela and about trade, with Trump forecasting that US-Brazil trade will rise significantly in the coming years.