Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva declared today in the Palais de l’Elysée (Elysian Palace), the seat of the French government, that the Year of Brazil in France marks the relationship between the two countries.
The President recalled that since 1980, when he was still a union leader, he has been close to the French labor and socialist movements.
President Lula was received at the palace by the French President, Jacques Chirac, after attending the military parade to commemorate the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.
The date is now the French Republic’s national holiday. Seven thousand people were present at the reception in the palace gardens.
Lula said that, when he took over the presidency, he didn’t know how his union background would affect his relationship with President Chirac.
Since their first meeting, however, “Chirac has shown himself to be a statesman who respects everyone equally.” Lula also noted that Chirac was the first President to join him in the war on hunger.
President Chirac also spoke at the event. He said he was proud to be at Lula’s side in the effort to finance development around the world and affirmed he has no doubts that the two will succeed in making progress.
Lula also visited the Brazil Space, a center erected to display the diversity of Brazilian culture.
ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br