Brazil’s Lula to Ask Bush to Tone Down Anti-Chavez Rhetoric

    Brazil’s special presidential adviser for international affairs, Marco Aurélio Garcia, said that "there will be no surprises" at the meeting between presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and George W. Bush. According to Garcia, the meeting is important as a follow-up to previous meetings between Lula and Bush.

    Garcia recalled that the two presidents met when Lula visited the United States as president-elect. "Lula returned later in June, 2003, and they had a long meeting in the White House. So there is an official bilateral agenda that will continue to function," he observed.

    The opportunity, according to Garcia, will also serve for the discussion of multilateral issues. "The two major items that should appear on the agenda are related to the negotiations expected to take place in the WTO (World Trade Organization) at the meeting scheduled for December in Hong Kong and the reform of the United Nations (UN)," he affirmed.

    As for the possibility that presidents Lula and Bush will talk about Venezuela, Garcia informed that the Brazilian government has insisted on the "attempt to draw the two sides closer" and scale the rhetoric down a notch, so the matter may come up.

    Another topic that Garcia expects Lula to discuss with Bush is Brazil’s worldwide campaign to raise funds for infrastructure investments in Haiti.

    "South America is doing its part, making a very substantial contribution to the stabilization force. We are doing our part, and it is important that the international community do its part, too, carrying out what it promised, which is to provide assistance upwards of US$ 1.2 billion," he pointed out.

    Agência Brasil

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