Trump floats idea of Brazil becoming a NATO member

2019/03/52058_USAJairBolsonaroDonaldTrump_1553031928061-1553038494.jpg
Read: 539     11:35     20 March 2019    

US President Donald Trump hints at the possibility of Brazil joining the military alliance between American and European countries as he hosted the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro for security talks at the White House.


President Donald Trump heaped praise on right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro — and received plenty back — in announcing a special relationship that he said could even see the Latin American country join NATO.

At a joint news conference on the sun-soaked Rose Garden lawn on Tuesday, Trump and the man dubbed "Trump of the Tropics" let the mutual compliments flow.

"I have always admired the United States of America. And this sense of admiration has just increased after you took office and the presidency," Bolsonaro said.

Trump, stressing Brazil's partnership in the US-led campaign to force hard-left Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power, said Bolsonaro was "doing a fantastic job" and had "brought the country together."

For years Bolsonaro was little more than a marginal congressman, but his Trump-like campaign in 2018, promising to combat corruption and crime, and to end politics as usual, propelled him to surprise victory.

His hard-right views, including frequent expressions of support for Brazil's past period of military rule, horrified the left and drove deep divisions in Latin America's biggest nation.

But at the press conference, his condemnation of what he called "fake news" — opponents say he is referring merely to critical reports — and references to deeply conservative social values pleased Trump.

"We have many views that are similar," Trump said.

Brazil in NATO? 

Trump spent much of the news conference discussing efforts to squeeze Venezuela's authorities, which he warned could face many more sanctions than those already imposed in an attempt to cripple the government's finances.

Brazil, which shares a long border with Venezuela, is important in the strategy.

In Bolsonaro, an ex-soldier who idolises the former leaders of Brazil's anti-communist military dictatorship, Trump has a ready ally against Maduro.

In return, Bolsonaro got one of the main items on his wish list: agreement for Brazil to be given NATO privileges. This "major non-NATO ally" status would ease Brazil's access to US weaponry and other military links.

But in the sunny spirit of the occasion, Trump then went much further, stretching the diplomatic and geographical possibilities to a degree that surprised many.

"I also intend to designate Brazil as a major non-NATO ally or even possibly, if you start thinking about it, maybe a NATO ally," Trump announced.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation already has 29 countries. None are from Latin America and none, like Brazil, are located in the South Atlantic.

"I have to talk to a lot of people," Trump said of his idea.

AFP



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News Line

Trump floats idea of Brazil becoming a NATO member

2019/03/52058_USAJairBolsonaroDonaldTrump_1553031928061-1553038494.jpg
Read: 540     11:35     20 March 2019    

US President Donald Trump hints at the possibility of Brazil joining the military alliance between American and European countries as he hosted the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro for security talks at the White House.


President Donald Trump heaped praise on right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro — and received plenty back — in announcing a special relationship that he said could even see the Latin American country join NATO.

At a joint news conference on the sun-soaked Rose Garden lawn on Tuesday, Trump and the man dubbed "Trump of the Tropics" let the mutual compliments flow.

"I have always admired the United States of America. And this sense of admiration has just increased after you took office and the presidency," Bolsonaro said.

Trump, stressing Brazil's partnership in the US-led campaign to force hard-left Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power, said Bolsonaro was "doing a fantastic job" and had "brought the country together."

For years Bolsonaro was little more than a marginal congressman, but his Trump-like campaign in 2018, promising to combat corruption and crime, and to end politics as usual, propelled him to surprise victory.

His hard-right views, including frequent expressions of support for Brazil's past period of military rule, horrified the left and drove deep divisions in Latin America's biggest nation.

But at the press conference, his condemnation of what he called "fake news" — opponents say he is referring merely to critical reports — and references to deeply conservative social values pleased Trump.

"We have many views that are similar," Trump said.

Brazil in NATO? 

Trump spent much of the news conference discussing efforts to squeeze Venezuela's authorities, which he warned could face many more sanctions than those already imposed in an attempt to cripple the government's finances.

Brazil, which shares a long border with Venezuela, is important in the strategy.

In Bolsonaro, an ex-soldier who idolises the former leaders of Brazil's anti-communist military dictatorship, Trump has a ready ally against Maduro.

In return, Bolsonaro got one of the main items on his wish list: agreement for Brazil to be given NATO privileges. This "major non-NATO ally" status would ease Brazil's access to US weaponry and other military links.

But in the sunny spirit of the occasion, Trump then went much further, stretching the diplomatic and geographical possibilities to a degree that surprised many.

"I also intend to designate Brazil as a major non-NATO ally or even possibly, if you start thinking about it, maybe a NATO ally," Trump announced.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation already has 29 countries. None are from Latin America and none, like Brazil, are located in the South Atlantic.

"I have to talk to a lot of people," Trump said of his idea.

AFP



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