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Brazilian and Chilean Presidents Reiterate Opposition to Iraq War

Presidents of Brazil and Chile agreed this week to strengthen a strategic alliance and boost bilateral trade and cooperation.

In a joint communiqué entitled "An Alliance Renewed," Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Chile’s Michelle Bachelet promised to jointly work for the integration of South America.

Both Brazil and Chile support the strengthening of multilateralism in response to an unequal globalization and new menaces, said Lula.

This was Ms Bachelet first official visit to Brazil, a strategic ally of Chile, since becoming president.

"Brazil and Chile share a Latin American identity and many fundamental principles, especially a belief in democracy and liberty and a strong commitment to human rights. We are firmly in favor of reducing poverty, and social inequality and exclusion," stressed Bachelet.

The Chilean president also referred to regional efforts at integration and development, for example in the area of energy, within the framework of the South American Community of Nations (Casa) which she called historical and ambitious, but achievable.

Bachelet underlined that in international trade negotiations the two countries were engaged in a high level of cooperation within the G-20. And regarding regional foreign policy she said that Brazil and Chile should continue to assist the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti.

"The recently elected president of Haiti, Préval, needs help. He has requested our help and we will give it to him," she said.

President Lula recalled that both Brazil and Chile strongly opposed the war in Iraq and praised Ms Bachelet long identification with human rights.

According to Lula, Brazilian-Chilean bilateral trade reached US$ 5.2 billion in 2005, and Chile’s private sector invested US$ 4 billion in Brazil.

Lula congratulated Bachelet on her January election victory, noting that she was the first woman president in the Chilean history. Bachelet, for her part, lauded the Brazilian president’s initiatives in combating poverty.

In the morning, Bachelet received a Doctorate for Honor’s Cause from the University of Brasí­lia for her efforts in defending human rights.

The two presidents also signed three agreements covering the areas of energy and mines, technical cooperation in environmental protection and the residential rights for citizens of both countries.

They also exchanged information on water resources, assessment of urban environment and the protection of marine environment and biodiversity.

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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