Donald Trump welcomes Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to White House

U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro hold a joint news conference at the White House in Washington

Brazil's far-right leader visits Washington | Article

Brazil's populist leader Jair Bolsonaro arrived in Washington on Sunday to meet with US President Donald Trump.

At the outset of their first meeting, the two populist presidents exchanged soccer jerseys from their national teams, with Trump's name emblazoned on Brazil's famous yellow shirt and Bolsonaro's on the US uniform.

"Today, President Donald J. Trump and President Jair Messias Bolsonaro of Brazil committed to building a new partnership between their two countries focused on increasing prosperity, enhancing security, and promoting democracy, freedom and national sovereignty", reads the statement.

Brazil, the largest and most populous nation in Latin America, has pursued becoming a non-NATO ally to make it easier to buy United States weapons and lower barriers for military and other cooperation.

Nicknamed the 'Trump of the Tropics, ' Bolsonaro rose to power praising the US -backed military government that ran Brazil for two decades before a return to democracy in 1985.

Bolsonaro isn't the only one who's adopted Trump's pet phrase. "We can not leave them the way they are".

The leaders of the Western Hemisphere's two largest economies are promising to create closer trade and military ties.

"May I say that Brazil and the United States stand side by side in their efforts to ensure liberties, and respect to traditional family lifestyles, respect to God our creator, against the gender ideology or politically correct attitudes, and against fake news", President Bolsonaro told reporters.

"For the first time in a while, a pro-America Brazilian president arrives in DC", he said in the tweet.

Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said despite his concerns for Bolsonaro's rhetoric, he would give Bolsonaro "the benefit of the doubt", emphasizing Brazil's importance to the United States.

"I'm very proud to hear the President use the term "fake news", Mr Trump later remarked. Both are fierce critics of Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

Trump later told reporters he intends to work to designate Brazil a "major non-NATO ally" and "maybe a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally" as well.

"The relationship that we have now with Brazil has never been better".

In an interview with Fox News Monday, Mr Bolsonaro said he supported Mr Trump's immigration policies and his efforts to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. Trump praised Brazil for recognizing Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's interim president and supporting the United States in providing humanitarian aid to Venezuelans.

China long ago surpassed the United States as Brazil's biggest trading partner and Bolsonaro's economy minister on Monday urged the United States to open its market more to Brazil if it wanted to change the status quo.

Bolsonaro "ran one of the incredible campaigns", President Trump said on Tuesday.

'No Brazilian president had ever paid a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency, ' said Celso Amorim, who served as foreign minister under former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and is a Bolsonaro critic.

Days after taking office on January 1, Mr Bolsonaro, a former army captain, said Brazil would consider letting the U.S. have a military base in the country as way to counter Russian influence in the region, particularly related to Brazil's neighbour Venezuela.

Speaking to Russian media, Mr. Ryabkov emphasised the need for dialogue with the US but warned Washington against any military intervention.

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