Page last updated at 04:59 GMT, Tuesday, 23 December 2008

France backs Brazil UN ambition


Brazil and EU leaders hold summit in Rio de Janeiro

Brazil should have a greater role in international affairs and a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, says French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

On a visit to Rio de Janeiro Mr Sarkozy said Brazil and the EU would adopt a common position on the global financial crisis at the next G20 meeting.

The French leader was speaking at a summit between the two sides.

During his trip Mr Sarkozy is expected to sign a deal to help Brazil build its first nuclear-powered submarine.

Defence deals

It is one of a number of defence agreements Mr Sarkozy is due to sign during talks with his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

We need Brazil as a permanent member of the Security Council
President Sarkozy

Among them is a deal in which France is expected to allow for the transfer of technology, enabling Brazil to build four conventional submarines.

It is reported the agreement will also include the purchase of 50 French Cougar helicopters that will be built in Brazil.

Mr Sarkozy is being accompanied by several ministers and French industrialists.

The French leader's visit is his final act as EU president.

From January the six-month rotating position goes to the Czech Republic.

At the EU-Brazil summit Mr Sarkozy said the Latin American country had an important role to play in global decision-making.

We decided with President Lula that things much change and change profoundly
President Sarkozy

"I'm being honest when I say we need Brazil in world governance," he said.

"I think we need Brazil as a permanent member of the Security Council," he added.

New financial order

Presidents Sarkozy and Lula ata news conference in Rio de Janeiro.
Mr Sarkozy says Brazil has a role to play in world governance
Brazil is also pressing for a greater role to be given to developing countries in controlling the world's financial systems, following the global economic crisis and here too Mr Sarkozy was supportive.

He suggested that Brazil and France would jointly bring proposals to the next meeting of the broader G20 group in London next April aimed at supporting business people, not speculators.

"We decided with President Lula that things must change and change profoundly," the French leader declared.

"We decided to narrow our positions and arrive in London with a common vision, on the future role of the IMF, the system of management of financial institutions," he said.

"We cannot allow a single financial institution to be uncontrolled or unsupervised," he added.

The BBC's Gary Duffy in Brazil says Latin America's biggest economy and diplomatic power has had a long ambition to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and the support given by President Sarkozy will undoubtedly be welcome.

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