- The Washington Times - Friday, February 10, 2023

President Biden will host newly elected Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the White House on Friday for talks focused on democracy just over a month after supporters of his defeated predecessor Jair Bolsonaro stormed government buildings in Brazil’s capital in protest over the election.

The two leaders will discuss their “categorical rejection of extremism and violence in politics” as well as their commitment to defending democracy around the globe, according to the White House, in a condemnation of the Jan. 8 attack in Brasilia that has been broadly compared to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

“President Biden quickly and clearly denounced what took place in Brazil on January 8 and joined leaders all over the world in expressing his unwavering support for Democracy in Brazil,” the White House said ahead of Friday’s meeting. “He reiterated this commitment and made this clear in his call with President Lula on January 9.”

The meeting will take place amid calls by Democratic lawmakers to expel Mr. Bolsonaro from the U.S., where the former leader has remained since last month’s election. The former president’s opponents say he fomented the attack on the capital city by sowing doubts about the election.

Mr. Bolsonaro, who is facing investigations in Brazil, traveled to Florida days before Mr. Lula took office and has remained there since. Last month, Mr. Bolsonaro applied for a six-month tourist visa to remain in the U.S.

Mr. Lula and Mr. Biden previously met in person in 2009 during Mr. Lula’s first term in office. Mr. Lula was later imprisoned on corruption charges, which were annulled in 2021.

Beyond their focus on democracy, the two leaders will also discuss their countries’ efforts to combat climate change and strengthen economic development.

The meeting will also serve as a forum for the presidents to discuss a broad range of global challenges including the war in Ukraine and immigration.

• Joseph Clark can be reached at jclark@washingtontimes.com.

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