Brazil’s Lula Lambasts US

Brazil's Lula Lambasts US

    President Bush is expected to call at the UN for international
    assistance in Iraq in the form of
    more boots on the ground.
    According to Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, Brazil
    will refuse to
    send in troops. "Our position," he said, "is that the
    Iraqi people need to have their independence returned first. "



    In the dispute for positions of leadership on the international scene, president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva continues to
    make it clear that he wants one of those positions. Monday, during his first day in the US for the opening of the United
    Nations General Assembly, Lula spoke at a seminar on terrorism. The Brazilian President condemned attacks by terrorists, but
    also criticized the US for arbitrary actions, such as the invasion of Iraq.

    Lula had lunch with the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, and reiterated his support for UN reforms. He also met
    with leaders of France and Spain, calling for the strengthening of Mercosur and expanded commercial ties that were more
    equitable between Brazil and Europe.

    "We are deeply concerned about international affairs. We are strongly committed to strengthening multilateral
    organizations, making them more representative and legitimate," said Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim, adding that
    in spite of the country’s forceful positioning on issues, Brazil remains in favor of negotiations, not confrontation.

    Brazilian foreign policy faces more challenges. Lula will be the first president to speak to the UN General
    Assembly. He will be followed by George W. Bush.

    The president of the US is expected to call for international assistance in Iraq in the form of more boots on the
    ground. That position runs counter to what many leaders think is needed in Iraq. According to minister Amorim, Brazil will
    refuse to send in troops. "Our position is that the Iraqi people need to have their independence returned first. That is the only
    way to restore security."

    Rebutting US criticism

    In response to an article in the "Financial Times," on Monday, in which US Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick,
    blamed Brazil for causing difficulties in the negotiations at the V Ministerial Meeting of the World Trade Organization in
    Cancun, Mexico, minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, rebutted the criticism.

    Saying that it might be a good idea to try to find out who was to blame for the Cancun failure, Amorim pointed out
    that Brazil joined other countries in demanding more liberalization of trade and an end to farm subsidies. The minister said
    that the fact that Brazil was cited 5 times in the Zoellick article was a sign that Brazilian participation at the meeting had
    been effective.

    That certainly seemed to be the case when Zoellick, speaking at the end of the meeting, praised Brazil and the G-20
    for being pragmatic. Amorim said the article was a case of the American doing some backpedaling, after all both Brazil and
    the US are supposed to be in favor of expanding free trade.

    Amorim concluded by saying that Brazil remains committed to seeking a consensus on trade problems and
    determined to move ahead with further negotiations at the WTO.


    The material for this article was supplied by Agência Brasil (AB), the official press agency of the Brazilian
    government. Comments are welcome at 

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