Minority of Sectarians Blocks Peace in Middle East, Says Brazil’s Lula

Abbas and Lula The president of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), Mahmoud Abbas, asked for support from the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in order to reach an understanding with Israel. Abbas made the request to Lula in a press statement, this Friday, November 20, after a closed-door meeting with the Brazilian head of state at Museu na Misericórdia, in Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia.

Abbas arrived in Salvador this Thursday nighy and should remain in Brazil until next Sunday. Aside from the capital of Bahia, he should also travel to Porto Alegre, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.

"We need your support and your help. You are internationally respected, appreciated and admired," said Abbas. He also stated that he acknowledges the efforts of Brazil and of other countries, such as India and South Africa, in the economic, human and political fields.

Lula, in turn, emphasized the need for a solution to the conflict in the region, and questioned the responsibility for the lack of an understanding. "If we were to have a worldwide poll, more than 80% of people would decide for peace in the Middle East," said Lula.

"I am certain that the people of Israel want peace, I am certain that the Palestinian people want peace, I am certain that the people of Iran want peace, that the people of the United States want peace, that the Brazilian people want peace.

It cannot be so that everyone wants peace, and yet the conflict persists. Those responsible for the conflict are a minority, sectarians, I would say, with reasons other than the best interest of the Palestinian and of the Israeli peoples," claimed Lula.

The Brazilian head of state stated that peace in the Middle East is of interest to humanity and therefore to Brazil. "The expansion of settlements in the West Bank must be stopped. The boundaries of the Palestinian state must be respected, and the Palestinians must be allowed to circulate with greater ease," said Lula.

He asserted that the country believes that an understanding will be reached, and that peace entails the establishment of a strong, cohesive Palestinian state, but also safety to Israel. "Brazil is on the side of those who prefer to dialogue," claimed Lula.

Abbas said that Brazil has offered a "loyal" support to Palestine and to peace in the Middle East. He said that the Brazilian experience, of peaceful coexistence between different colours, sexes and religions, is an example to the world.

He stressed that his country does not want violence, terror or war, and that if an understanding were to be reached, then the entire region would see much progress. "We are all sons of Adam, we are all human," stated Abbas. The Palestinian underscored Lula´s skills and the important role that he may play in the peace process.

Anba

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