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Brazilian FM replaced in Cabinet shuffle

Brasilia, March 30 Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro appointed Carlos Alberto Franco Franca to replace Minister of Foreign Affairs ...
Brazilian FM replaced in Cabinet shuffle

Brasilia, March 30 Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro appointed Carlos Alberto Franco Franca to replace Minister of Foreign Affairs Ernesto Araujo, in a Cabinet reshuffle.

In the reshuffle on Monday, Bolsonaro replaced six Cabinet members including the heads of the Defence, Health and Justice Departments for the past few days, amid mounting domestic pressure over the administration's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

Araujo was forced to quit after Brazilian legislators and senior diplomats accused him of a foreign policy running counter to national interests and talks for acquiring Covid-19 vaccines.

Last week, a letter signed by more than 300 diplomats called for the Minister's ouster due to what they considered as conduct incompatible with the constitutional principles and elementary codes of foreign relations.

The letter, co-sponsored by 10 Ambassadors who sought anonymity for legal reasons, claimed that Araujo's policy stand has caused "serious damage" to Brazil's international relations and national image.

Since Araujo took office in January 2019, Brazil's foreign relations have been marked by tightening ties with the US and stranded dialogues with the South American giant's main trade partners.

The Minister was also repeatedly questioned for his negative impact on such key sectors as agribusiness and incoming foreign investment.

Franca, 56, is a career diplomat who had previously worked in the area of protocol at the Ministry and served in the missions to the US, Paraguay and Bolivia.

( With inputs from IANS )

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