Brazilian President arrives in Israel to start Middle East tour

Monday, March 15, 2010

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in 2007.
Image: Agencia Brasil.

Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has arrived in Israel to start his tour of the Middle East that will also include visits to the Palestinian territories and Jordan. He is also set to visit Iran in May. His visit comes at a time when Israeli-US relationships are tense over Israel's plans to build 1,600 homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

During his time in Israel, Lula will meet with President Shimon Peres and the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is planning to visit Israel’s Holocaust Museum and meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in addition spending a night in Bethlehem.

Lula will visit Iran later this year. Last year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became the first Iranian leader to visit the South American nation.

Through these international tours, Lula is hoping to expand Brazil's role in world politics. He is furthermore campaigning to have a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.