Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Brazilian president, during his visit to Vietnam and under the watchful eyes of an Ho Chi Minh's statue described that country's war against the United States, which ended with the country's union and full independence, as a "victory of the oppressed."
The Brazilian leader and his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Minh Triet, also pledged to support each other in the bid for greater representation of developing nations in the global political and trade arenas.
On a one-day visit to Vietnam after attending the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Japan, when he met with US president, George Bush, Lula visited the mausoleum of the late President Ho Chi Minh and laid a wreath at the war veterans' memorial.
"What Vietnam did was much more than winning the war and deserves the respect of all of mankind. What you've done here was much more than winning a war. It was a life lesson that taught all human beings that when we want something and are determined to get it, we will be invincible," the former union leader said after he was received with full military honors.
"Your victory was a victory of the oppressed and we feel proud of it," he added.
Lula also praised the post-war economic recovery of the unified Vietnam, which has seen annual growth rates of more than 7% for the past decade and rapidly reduced poverty to less than 20% of its population.
"The Vietnamese people have always known how to defend their sovereignty and independence," Lula said.
"With the same perseverance with which it achieved its independence, Vietnam distinguishes itself with the good performance and the high growth rates of its economy."
President Triet thanked the Brazilian leader for supporting Vietnam's 2007 World Trade Organization (WTO) accession and non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, which it chairs this month.
He also reaffirmed Vietnam's support for Brazil's bid for a permanent seat on the Security Council. Lula said he was certain "that Vietnam shares with us the vision that global problems cannot be solved only by the main industrialized countries".
On global trade talks, where Brazil has led calls for a fairer regime for poor countries, Lula called Vietnam "an important ally in the struggle to put an end to distortions in international trade."
Show Comments (5)