April 15, 2024

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Macron and Lula launch a submarine built in Brazil with French technology – 03/27/2024

Macron and Lula launch a submarine built in Brazil with French technology – 03/27/2024

The presidents of France and Brazil gave the green light on Wednesday to build a submarine in the South American country using French technology. The goal of the program is to build Brazil's first nuclear-powered submarine by the end of the decade.

Presidents Emmanuel Macron and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attended a ceremony at the Itaguay shipyard near Rio de Janeiro and launched the third diesel-powered submarine built under the $10 billion partnership.

Brazilian First Lady Ganga da Silva smashed a champagne bottle on the bow of the Tonelero submarine and the two presidents pulled a lever that caused the Scorpene-class vessel to fall into the sea.

The submarine programme, which began in 2008 during Lula's previous term, is a partnership with France's state-owned Naval Group, in which defense giant Thales has a 35% stake.

The Brazilian government has said the submarine fleet is necessary to defend the country's coastline, which is about 7,500 kilometers long, and the waters of the Atlantic Ocean where the country is developing large offshore oil fields.

Macron is on a three-day visit to Brazil with the aim of reviving bilateral relations and the strategic partnership that faltered during the previous government of Jair Bolsonaro, which the French president criticized for failing to protect the Amazon rainforest.

Macron arrived on Tuesday in the Amazon city of Belém, where Brazil will host the UN COP30 climate talks in 2025. He met Lula there and they promised to work together to stop deforestation in the Amazon by 2030.

Macron will meet business representatives in Sao Paulo on Wednesday and pay a state visit to Brasilia on Thursday. (Reporting by Anthony Poudel, Editing by Brad Haynes and Bill Berkrot)

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