President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has left Brazil Monday morning, March 6, for a four-day state visit to England at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II.
The presidential entourage will include ministers of Finance, Antônio Palocci; Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan; Science and Technology, Sergio Rezende; Culture, Gilberto Gil; and Education, Fernando Haddad.
Lula will arrive tonight; his official agenda begins Tuesday with the pomp and circumstance of a royal welcome by the Horse Guards at Buckingham Palace where he will join the queen, her husband and other guests for lunch.
The reduction of farm subsidies will be on the top of the Brazilian President’s agenda when he meets British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
"I spoke to Blair recently at a summit in South Africa about the need for the European Union to be flexible in negotiations. The objective of reducing farm subsidies in rich nations is so that poor nations can have more economic opportunities. If we do not do this now we are condemning the poor to stay poor for another 30 years," said Lula in a pre-recorded broadcast on the radio this morning.
Lula said another issue he will discuss with Blair is renewable fuel. "England could be an interesting partner in this area," he declared.
Lula and Blair will also discuss the so-called Doha Round trade negotiations. During his stay in England, Lula will also meet with business and financial leaders. He will be in London until March 9.