Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met with members of the Palestinian community in Brazil at the Plaza Sao Rafael hotel in Porto Alegre state. A delegation from the Palestinian Arab Federation of Brazil (FEPAL) and other members of the Palestinian community in Brazil were present and delivered a letter to Lula.
“We are here as Palestinians and Brazilians of Palestinian origin who want the best for Brazil,” FEPAL President Ualid Rabah said at the meeting. Rabah praised Lula’s role in strengthening relations with the Arab world during his presidency. “It has generated jobs in Brazil, its entrepreneurs have gained dynamism and an international market for all classes and nationalities of society.”
The letter delivered to Lula “expresses some of the main concerns and proposals of the Palestinian-Brazilian Arab community for relations between Brazil and Palestine, as well as issues of concern in Brazil”, Rabah explained.
Among the proposals is maintaining support for Palestine in accordance with numerous UN resolutions such as the right of return for refugees and the ratification of a series of cooperation agreements between Brazil and Palestine.
The Palestinian community also presented Lula with several gifts as a symbol of the history and heritage of the Palestinian people, including an Arabic calligraphy with the phrase “Lula is the best president of Brazil”, a football team jersey Palestinian refugees and a rosary. in the colors of the Palestinian flag. They also presented Lula’s wife, Rosangela Silva, with a handkerchief decorated with traditional Palestinian embroidery.
“The Palestinians deserve our full attention and solidarity,” Lula said. Wearing the Palestinian keffiyeh, he welcomed the Palestinian community and highlighted the important relationship between Brazil and Palestine and the relationship Brazil has built with the Arab world and its governments.
He stressed that the Palestinian people have the right to live in a “free and sovereign state”, adding that he will work to restore the leading role of Brazilian foreign policy in mediating conflicts and the right of peoples to defend.
In 2010 Lula recognized Palestine as an independent state within the 1967 borders, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador did so almost immediately afterwards. The majority of South American states followed suit in the first three months of 2011. In the same year, Lula made the first-ever trip by a current or former Brazilian head of state to Palestine. He had taken many measures in favor of Palestine, including increasing diplomatic representation between the two countries and allocating land near the Brazilian presidential palace to the Palestinian embassy.
Current Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has broken with this position and outwardly supported the occupation state of Israel. However, analysts estimate that Lula has a 70% chance of winning the next election in October. The question is whether he will maintain his support for the Palestinians if he returns to power.
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