France minister visits Brazil's Lula amid push for better ties post-Bolsonaro

BRASILIA (Reuters) - France's foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, met with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday in a visit resetting relations following a feud between the two countries' presidents in 2019.

It was the first French ministerial visit to Brazil since 2019 when Lula's far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, angered by President Emmanuel Macron's criticism of his handling of forest fires in the Amazon, mocked the French leader's wife on Facebook.

"With this visit, we turn the page on the last few years and put our relations back on the high level that both of our societies hope for and desire," Brazil's foreign minister, Mauro Vieira, said at a news conference.

He said the two countries were resuming the partnership that had been forged in 2006 by Lula, in his first term as Brazil's president, and President Jacques Chirac.

Vieira said Colonna's visit marked France's support for democracy in Brazil, which was threatened by Bolsonaro and his supporters who stormed government buildings calling for a military coup last month.

Lula has invited Macron to attend a summit of heads of state of the eight countries that belong to the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), since French Guiana is part of the Amazon region.

The summit is expected to take place in Brazil in March.

Macron would then visit Brasilia, Vieira said.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Leslie Adler)