Lula has busy agenda in Rome

Lula has busy agenda in Rome

Thursday, June 22nd 2023 – 10:00 UTC

Lula arrived in Rome on Tuesday

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Argentine-born Pope Francis exchanged views for over an hour Wednesday on “the socio-political situation of the region” and discussed ”the promotion of peace (…) the fight against poverty and inequality, the respect for indigenous populations and the protection of the environment”, according to a communiqué.

“We are in times of war and peace is very fragile,” Francis assured Lula, according to a video posted on the Brazilian president’s Twitter account.

Lula also met Wednesday with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who praised the South American leader for his “defense of democracy” in Brazil.

“Mr. President, your presence in Rome is an honor for the Italian Republic,” Mattarella said, according to a video released by the Quirinal Palace.

“I express great appreciation for your defense of democracy in the face of the assault on Parliament in an attempt to subvert the election results,” added the Italian head of state, who stressed that Lula’s presence is “the occasion to reiterate once again the closeness and friendship that unite Brazil and Italy.”

Lula also met with Rome Mayor Roberto Gualtieri, who was one of the international personalities to visit the Workers’ Party politician when he was jailed in Curitiba, between 2018 and 2019. At that time, Gualtieri was serving as an MEP for the Italian Democratic Party.

“It is a visit of thanks, of expressing my gratitude for the loyalty, solidarity, and the behavior of Mayor Gualtieri when I was detained in the Federal Police of my country,” Lula said, in an emotional tone, according to Agencia Brasil. “Besides being a friend, I am a fervent supporter that he will make an extraordinary administration in the city of Rome,” added the president.

In 2021, the Supreme Court (STF) annulled all of Lula’s convictions and also ruled that the judge in charge of the case, now Senator Sérgio Moro (Podemos-PR), was a suspect magistrate in the case known as the Guarujá tríplex. After the revelation of a series of messages, the ministers of the STF considered that the judge adopted a partial posture and colluded with the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF) in the investigations.

“For me, this meeting was a real happiness, to meet a true friend and to see a personality so important to me, to the government of Rome, and for a more just and social development of the world,” Gualtieri was quoted by Agencia Brasil as saying.

President Lula also met with former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema and with Italian Democratic Party Secretary-General Elly Schlein, a 38-year-old opposition leader in the local parliament.

After the visit to the Vatican, Lula met at Palazzo Chigi with Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The first woman to hold the post, Meloni is the leader of the first far-right government in the country in decades.

Lula arrived in Rome on Tuesday and met with sociologist Domenico de Masi, who had also visited him in Curitiba.

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