The prime minister of Portugal, Pedro Santana Lopes, who is on an official visit to Brazil, says his country supports a permanent seat on the UN Security Council for Brazil.
Lopes also announced that his country is willing to assist Mercosur in its negotiations with the European Union because, he declared, it will not be easy to reach an agreement between the two economic blocks in the short-term.
“This agreement is in the interest of both Brazil and Portugal, but there remains much to be done in the areas of farm produce, services, transportation and communications,” said Lopes.
The prime minister went to say that he believes Portuguese-speaking nations should unite to strengthen their cultural and linguistic ties.
Lopes said he was in favor of the idea proposed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to make the Portuguese language a mandatory subject in universities around the world, including the United States, for example. “Brazil will have an important role in making this a reality,” said Lopes.
President Lula met at the Palácio do Planalto with Lopes, for talks on issues of bilateral interest. Among those issues was the summit at the UN on hunger and misery combat on September 20.
Following the meeting, Lopes was a special guest at Brazilian Independence Day celebrations in Brasília where he watched the parade at the Esplanada of the Ministries at the side of Lula and members of the Brazilian government.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Lopes was in Rio where he offered a reception for the Portuguese community there and visited the city’s Portuguese Reading Room (Real Gabinete Português de Leitura).
Today, also in Rio, Lopes will inaugurate an exposition of Traditional Portuguese Art and award a literary prize (Premio Camões 2004) to the Portuguese writer, Agustina Bessa-Luis.