Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Tuesday that he does not need to be friends with the heads of state of other countries, despite which it was possible to reach an agreement, Agencia Brasil reported.
I don't have to like the president of Chile, Argentina, or Venezuela. He doesn't have to be my friend. He has to be president of his country, I have to be president of my country. We have to have policies of the Brazilian state and he, of his state, said Lula.
We have to sit at the table, each defending our own interests. As there can be no supremacy of one over the other, we have to reach an agreement. That's the art of democracy: we have to reach an agreement, he added during a speech at the graduation ceremony for Brazilian diplomats at the Rio Branco Institute.
Lula insisted that the heads of state of South American countries should try to solve their problems through dialog and learn to live with differences. We have to be intelligent and try to solve them, try to talk, try to get people to learn to live together democratically in adversity, to reach an agreement, he underlined.
The Brazilian leftwing leader also recalled the creation of Mercosur in 1985 by then Presidents José Sarney (Brazil) and Raúl Alfonsín (Argentina) and of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) in 2008. We were united because, at a certain moment in our history, the people elected a group of leaders who were aware that we needed to build a group, a group of countries that decided to strengthen themselves in order to negotiate with those who were stronger than us, Lula stressed.
Regarding Javier Milei's electoral win, we had a lot of meetings with Argentina, because Argentina is a partner country; Brazil has an extraordinary relationship with Argentina, which was the first country I visited to demonstrate, in 2003, that we were going to have a strong policy for South America, Lula recalled.
Also Tuesday Lula granted a posthumous tribute to slain indigenist Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips. Also receiving the Order of Rio Branco were singers Gal Costa, Elza Soares, and Rita Lee, among other personalities.
Bruno and Dom, who played an outstanding role in the defense of indigenous peoples, were murdered in June 2022, in the Javari Valley, in the Amazon rainforest.
Created in 1963, the Order of Rio Branco is awarded to those who render services to the country or have merits for exceptional achievements.
The recipients are classified in the ordinary cadre, with limited vacancies, which includes names of active officials in the diplomatic career, and the supplementary cadre, which is made up of retired diplomats and other individuals or legal entities who come to receive the insignia of the order.
Each board has five degrees of honor: Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer and Knight. Military corporations and civilian institutions can also receive insignia, without assigning ranks.
Honorees must have their names approved by the Council of the Order of the Rio Banco, which is also responsible for implementing the decoration's regulations and even suspending the use of the insignia in cases of acts that harm national dignity.
The collegiate body is made up of the President of the Republic, who is a member of the Grand Master; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, a member of the Chancellor's Office, as well as advisory members of the Chief of Staff, the Chief of Staff of the Institutional Security Cabinet and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The head of the Ceremonial Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also acts as secretary of the Council.
This year, in addition to the posthumous recipients, the insignia of the Cross of Four Arms and Eight Points also went to the Palestinian Ambassador to Brazil, Ibrahim Alzeben, First Lady Janja Lula da Silva, and indigenous activist Raoni Metuktire.