Brazil’s president begins visit to European ally Portugal

Brazil’s President Begins Visit To European Ally Portugal
Portugal is home to more than 250,000 Brazilians, and some were on hand to cheer the visiting president. Photo: PA Images
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Helena Alves, Associated Press

Portugal’s president welcomed Brazilian pesident Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on an official visit on Saturday, as the Brazilian leader looks to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Portuguese president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa received Mr Lula and Brazilian first lady Rosangela da Silva in an official ceremony at the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon.


Portugal is home to more than 250,000 Brazilians, and some were on hand to cheer the visiting president.

During his first joint press conference with Mr Sousa, Mr Lula avoided feeding the controversy regarding his recent comments about Western military aid fuelling Ukraine and Russia’s conflict.

Portugal Brazil
Brazilian president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva and Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa (left) greet each other as they meet for the Portugal-Brazil forum at the Belem Cultural Centre in Lisbon (Armando Franca/AP/PA)


“My country took the decision long ago to condemn Russia for the occupation of the space and violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine, in the first days, and we have voted in the UN in this regard,” he said.

The Brazilian leader reiterated his proposal that a group of nations including Brazil mediate a peaceful resolution to the war.

“I never equalled both countries, because I know what an invasion is and what territorial integrity is,” he said.

“And all of us think Russia is wrong and we already condemned it in every UN decision.”


The trip is Mr Lula’s first to a European country since he defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro and won a third non-consecutive term in October.

While in Portugal, the left-wing leader aims to secure about a dozen agreements on trade and migration.

Portugal Brazil
Mr Lula, centre left, and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, centre right, during the Portugal-Brazil forum (Armando Franca/AP/PA)


The relaunch of a Portugal-Brazil summit, which was last held in 2016 when Michel Temer was Brazil’s president, was planned as the diplomatic highlight of the trip.

The event will be the setting for the signing of 13 bilateral agreements, including a cooperation deal between the space agencies of Brazil and Portugal.

Before departing for Spain on Tuesday, Mr Lula’s itinerary includes a prize-giving ceremony on Monday to honour renowned Brazilian musician Chico Buarque and a visit to Brazilian airline manufacturer Embraer’s factory near Lisbon.

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