Spain PM Pedro Sánchez (R), speaks with Brazilian president Lula da Silva during a press conference after their meeting in Madrid, 26 April 2023. EFE/JAVIER LIZON

Brazil president Lula meets Spanish PM, King Felipe to boost ties

Madrid, Apr 26 (EFE).- Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez on Wednesday hosted the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, for a meeting in which looked at strengthening their bilateral relationship and exchanged views on how to seek peace in Ukraine.

Lula arrived in Madrid on Tuesday on his first visit to Spain since he returned to office this year.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2L) shakes hands with Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez (R), next to Spain’s King Felipe VI (2R) and Queen Letizia (L) shortly before they have a lunch in the framework of the Brazilian President’s official visit in the country at Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain, 26 April 2023. EFE/Juanjo Martin

The Spanish government hopes that Lula’s visit will help restore ties between the two countries after strained relations under Lula’s predecessor, the far-right Jair Bolsonaro.

The war in Ukraine was high on the agenda, after Lula had reiterated his desire to end the war and encourage dialogue between Russia and Ukraine during his visit to Portugal this week.

His stance has been condemned by the US and other Western powers, including Spain, who believe that Russia must withdraw all of its troops from Ukrainian territory as a prerequisite for any peace talks.

Later on Wednesday, Lula met with the King Felipe VI of Spain at the Royal Palace in Madrid.

The President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, delivers a speech during the lunch with the king and queen of Spain in his honor at the Royal Palace in Madrid, 26 April 2023. EFE/JuanJo Martin

Felipe met the Brazilian leader at the entrance of the palace and both went up the stairs together to the Tapestry Hall, where they had their meeting.

Felipe VI had met Lula on January 2 in Brasilia at the Brazilian president’s inauguration, when the Spanish monarch said he was confident Brazil would play “a very active international role”.

After the meeting at the Royal Palace, Lula will attend a luncheon in his honor, which will be attended by Queen Letizia and Lula’s wife, Brazilian First Lady Rosangela da Silva, and prime minister Sánchez, as well as several senior cabinet members. EFE