Scholz, Macron may visit Brazil's Lula in early 2023, sources say

France's Macron and Germany's Scholz at the Elysee Palace in Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron welcomes German Chancellor Olaf Scholz before a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, October 26, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

BRASILIA, Dec 30 (Reuters) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron may visit Brazil's President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Brasilia in early 2023 after he takes office, two sources told Reuters.

Lula, who will be sworn in on Jan. 1, has sought to restore Brazil's international reputation after outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro's lax oversight of the environment and attacks on his country's electoral system turned off many Western diplomats.

The French and German leaders may visit Lula in Brazil as soon as January, the two sources said, with exact dates still being negotiated.

The sources said details were expected to be decided only after Lula's inauguration on Sunday, when Germany will be represented by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and France by a special envoy yet to be announced.

Scholz's office said it had no information about plans for such a trip, while the Elysee did not respond to a request for comment.

Last year, even before he was formally a presidential candidate, Lula was welcomed by both Scholz and Macron in their countries. In addition to receiving counterparts in Brasilia, Lula is also planning trips of his own, including visits to the United States, China and Argentina early in his term.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu in Brasilia Additional reporting by Maria Sheahan in Berlin and Geert De Clerq in Paris Editing by Matthew Lewis

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