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Brazilian president Lula says US should stop ‘encouraging’ war in Ukraine

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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Saturday that the United States should stop “encouraging war” in Ukraine “and start talking about peace.”

“The United States needs to stop encouraging war and start talking about peace, the European Union needs to start talking about peace,” Lula told reporters in Beijing at the end of a visit where he met with President Xi Jinping.

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In that way, the international community will be able to “convince” Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy that “peace is in the interest of the whole world,” he said before leaving for the United Arab Emirates.

Lula’s visit to China, Brazil’s top trading partner, focused on strengthening ties and spreading the message that “Brazil is back” as a key player on the global stage.

He is carrying out a delicate balancing act as he also seeks closer ties with Washington. His visit, which included an economic agenda in Shanghai and a more political one in Beijing, comes after a meeting with US President Joe Biden in February.

Unlike Western powers, neither China nor Brazil have imposed sanctions against Russia after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, and both seek to position themselves as mediators to achieve peace.

Before the trip, Lula had proposed creating a group of countries to mediate in the war, and said he would discuss this in Beijing.

Asked about the progress of this initiative after his conversation with Xi, Lula did not give details.

“It is important to have patience” to talk with Putin and Zelenskyy, he said.

“But above all, it is necessary to convince the countries that are supplying weapons, encouraging the war, to stop.”

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