The Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, welcomed the Brazilian Defence Minister, Dr Nelson Jobim, to London yesterday with a ceremonial guard from the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
The visit was the first by the Brazilian Defence Minister to the United Kingdom. It began with an opening address delivered in English and Portuguese at Lancaster House.
Anglo-Brazilian relations have always been strong and this visit will further reinforce these ties.
The three-day programme will include a demonstration of military equipment and British industry at St John’s Wood Barracks, a trip in a fast patrol boat and a Type 45 destroyer at HM Naval Base Portsmouth, and an opportunity to see the construction of the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers.
The Brazilian party will also make a tour of the London 2012 olympic site in advance of their country’s preparations to host the 2016 Olympics.
Dr Fox said in a speech at Lancaster House yesterday:
The United Kingdom and Brazil are firm friends with a long and mutually beneficial history. The task before us now is to build on our friendship so together we can face the challenges of the future.
The 21st century will be one of shared security and shared prosperity. Brazil is poised to take a central role on the world stage, as an economic force with a growing international voice, as an environmental superpower and a development success story. We welcome your increasing role in maintaining international stability and security.
The two Defence Ministers discussed a range of issues to strengthen the Brazil-UK friendship as part of an important building block of Atlantic and wider security.
Defence relations were strengthened by the official signing of a Defence Cooperation Treaty in September last year during a visit to Brazil by Gerald Howarth, Minister for International Security Strategy.
The return visit to London is a sign of Brazil’s commitment to the UK and recognition of the British military, highlighting the best capabilities and technologies that Britain has to offer.