Brazil's Bolsonaro says US should forge closer ties

Brazil's Bolsonaro says US should forge closer ties

President Joe Biden right and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro attend a bilateral meeting on June 9, 2022 at the 9th Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, California. JIM WATSON AFP LOS ANGELES - Brazil and the United States should forge closer relations after the two countries have drifted apart for ideological reasons, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday at a first official meeting with his US counterpart Joe Biden.

The hastily arranged meeting between the two came together after Biden reached out to Bolsonaro, a populist and admirer of ex-President Donald Trump, as Washington tried to shore up attendance at a summit roiled by a partial boycott.

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Bolsonaro, who like Biden, said we have a huge interest in getting closer and closer to the US.

We have distanced ourselves from ideologies at times. Bolsonaro said that since our arrival in the Brazilian government, we've never had greater opportunities because of the affinities that our governments have.

A White House summary said after the meeting the two leaders agreed to work together to prevent further deforestation of the Amazon.

After Bolsonaro praised Trump on Tuesday, questions over the merits of the meeting increased after Biden called the election suspicious in an echo of Trump's baseless allegations.

READ MORE: Biden should show courage to reverse course set by his predecessor.

Biden hopes to address Trump-era damage to US ties with Latin America at the regional summit.

The meeting was an opportunity for Bolsonaro to boost his image as he enters a tough re-election campaign.

CHANDAN KHANNA AFP : Beyond backing Trump, the former army captain has raised doubts about Brazil's voting system, calling it liable for fraud without providing evidence.

He has been worried that he might not accept defeat because of his attempts to discredit the elections in October. Senior Biden administration officials have urged Bolsonaro not to undermine confidence in the electoral process.

During the meeting, Bolsonaro appeared to suggest that he would accept the outcome of the Brazil election.

He said that I was elected by democracy and that I am sure that when I leave the government, it will be in a democratic way.

Bolsonaro proposed working with Washington to find a solution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

According to the White House summary, the two leaders agreed to coordinate closely with the UN Security Council over the conflict, but they didn't give any details.