São Paulo, Brazil – In his first visit to Europe at the beginning of his third term, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed a set of 13 agreements in the areas of education, health, justice, economy, and culture with Portugal during a meeting with Prime Minister António Costa in Lisbon.
The commitments made are expected to further strengthen the relationship between the two countries, which were once colony and empire. The fact that former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro never visited Portugal while in office was criticized by Lula da Silva in his speech.
“Can you imagine the irresponsibility of those who governed Brazil in recent years? In our first meeting in six years, we signed 13 agreements. Imagine if we could sign an average of 11 agreements at each meeting. It means that we failed to sign with Portugal at least 66 agreements that could have made our relationship even more extraordinary,” said da Silva.
The Portuguese Prime Minister also protested against the way Jair Bolsonaro led Brazil over the past four years.
“They destroyed everything in four years, it was like a plague of locusts attacking the cornfield. And we are rebuilding. Rebuilding is a Portuguese behavior,” said António Costa.
In addition to bringing the two nations closer, Lula da Silva spoke again about the war in Ukraine. On European soil, he raised his tone and condemned Russia for violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity in one of his toughest speeches against Russian aggression.
“My government condemns the territorial violation of Ukraine, while also advocating for a political and negotiated decision to the conflict, creating a group of countries to sit at the table with Russia and Ukraine to discuss peace,” said the Brazilian president in a press conference.
In the coming days, Lula will participate in commitments with the Portuguese and Brazilian private sectors. One of the highlights of the agenda is the partnership that will be made between Brazilian aircraft manufacturers Embraer and Portugal’s Ogma. It is expected that Ogma will start producing the Brazilian Super Tucano light attack and training military aircraft. Currently, the aircraft is produced in Brazil and the United States. According to the Brazilian government, the Super Tucano will be manufactured in Portugal according to NATO rules, allowing alliance member countries to purchase the model.
President Lula da Silva will stay in Portugal until April 25th, when he will embark on a two-day visit to Spain.