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Lula President and Sabina Higgins in Sao Pauli in 2012. Chris Bellew/Fennells
wearing the green

President Higgins invites Lula to Ireland and hails his 'significant' election win in Brazil

President Higgins visited Brazil in 2012 and says he hopes a return State visit can be organised.

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has written to President-elect of Brazil Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to congratulate him on his electoral victory and to invite him to Ireland. 

Known simply as Lula, Brazil’s President-elect defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in yesterday’s vote but the latter has yet to comment publicly on the result.

Lula served as Brazil’s president for two terms from 2003-2010 and his return to the presidency marks a dramatic comeback following a corruption conviction that was subsequently nullified by the country’s Supreme Court. 

Lula was the most-prominent union organiser in Brazil for decades before being first elected president.

In his letter today, President Michael D Higgins made reference to a visit he paid to Brazil in 2012 and a meeting with Lula.

He referenced to links between the two nations and specfically acklowdged the “special role” played by Brazilian health professionals in Ireland during the Covid-19 crisis. 

Here is President Michael D Higgins’ letter in full

Dear President-elect da Silva, Luiz,

May I offer you my warmest congratulations, following your election as President of Brazil. I send these good wishes as President of Ireland and on behalf of the people of Ireland, following your election victory.

As I reflect on this significant moment, I recall our most recent meeting, exactly ten years ago in Sao Paulo, in October, 2012.

The issues we discussed then remain at the forefront of my mind, including our shared concerns on global challenges – the very future of our planet and the protection of our environment, including the future of the Amazon. I know that under your leadership, the challenges facing you will be addressed with great wisdom and commitment. I think especially now of the work of the Irish patriot and humanitarian, Roger Casement, for the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon region.

I look forward very much to continuing our excellent co-operation once you take office, and building on our warm and vibrant relations. The links that have developed in recent years between our countries have been characterised by the energy and creativity of those Brazilians who have made their homes in Ireland while we in turn take pride in the Irish contribution to Brazil, mindful of the historic links rooted in our history, as well as in our educational and cultural lives.

The contribution of the Brazilian community in Ireland is rightly recognised in so many ways, but it is worth recalling the special role played by so many Brazilian health professionals and carers since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic in Ireland two and a half years ago, displaying such kindness and generosity of spirit to some of the most vulnerable in our society when so far from home themselves, during that very difficult time.

May I express my strong hope that you will be able to visit Ireland on one of your first visits to Europe. I know that if you were able to accept this invitation -which would be the first visit of a Head of State between our two countries since my own visit to Brazil in 2012 – it would only succeed in deepening the historic bonds of friendship and collaboration between our peoples, as well as offering an opportunity to continue our own dialogue which I value so much.
With warm personal good wishes and wishing you every success over the time ahead.

Le gach des ghul,
Yours sincerely

Michael D. Higgins, Uachtarin na hÉireann, President of Ireland

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