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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Brazil's Lula calls for 'peace group' to broker Ukraine-Russia deal

Brazil's Lula calls for 'peace group' to broker Ukraine-Russia deal

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Sunday again proposed establishing a group of countries not involved with the Russia-Ukraine war to broker peace, saying he had discussed the matter with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping earlier this week.
"I think we need to sit on a table and say, 'that's enough, let's start talking' because war never brought and will never bring any benefit to humanity," said Lula, who has been critical of the United States and the European Union for their role in the conflict.

The Brazilian president told reporters in Abu Dhabi, where he finished a trip to Asia, that he was trying to gather a group of leaders that "prefer to talk about peace rather than war."

He cited Xi and the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, both of whom he met this week.

Lula had previously said the group should gather countries not "encouraging" war, adding that nations that are supplying weapons should be convinced to stop doing so.

The United States and the European Union have been providing Ukraine with weapons and other support since Russia invaded the neighboring country more than a year ago. Germany earlier this year reportedly asked Brazil to supply arms as well, but Lula refused.

Lula repeated that the decision to start war was "made by two countries," appearing to also place some blame on Ukraine, and added that ending it will be harder as more nations would need to be persuaded.

"We are trying to form a group of countries that have no kind of involvement with the war to talk to Russia and Ukraine, but also the U.S. and EU, to convince people that peace is the best way to establish a process of conversation," Lula said.

Lula had a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy earlier this year. On Monday, his administration will host Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Brasilia.
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