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Cablegate: Media Reaction Rio de Janeiro: Dubious and Risky Diplomatic

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0033
INFO RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0029
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RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO
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USDOC 4322/MAC/OLAC/JAFEE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR OIIP ETRD XM XR BR
SUBJECT: Media Reaction Rio de Janeiro: Dubious and Risky Diplomatic
Stance (Brazil-Iran)

Dubious and risky diplomatic stance

Rio-based center-left daily Jornal do Brasil writes: "And finally,
to the displeasure of the international community and the protests
of human rights organizations, President Lula received in Brasilia
the controversial Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. (...) To
Ahmadinejad, considered a persona non grata in almost the entire
world (...) certainly the meeting represented a conquest. (...) To
Lula, the visit was another opportunity to place Brazil as a
conflict mediator no longer limited to South America. After being
involved in the imbroglio in Honduras (...) the country is
attempting to have a voice in the complex geopolitical context of
the Middle East. In recent weeks, Lula also received the Presidents
of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and Israel, Shimon
Peres. However, the meeting with Ahmadinejad was surprising due to
the deference and friendly tone [of Lula towards Ahmadinejad] (...)
It is a risky [diplomatic] stance and gives the impression of
support, or at least the condoning of the thesis defended by the
Iranian President... This is the man who has denied the Holocaust
in World War II, who defends the annihilation of Israel and makes
homophobic declarations (...) Obtained with fraud, Ahmadinejad's
reelection weakened his legitimacy (...) His defiance of
international regulations related to the non-proliferation of
nuclear weapons, and in creating difficulties for the IAEA
inspections, makes Ahmadinejad a threat to [reaching] a difficult
solution in the Middle East conflict. In the meeting, Lula
diplomatically supported the Iranian right to develop a nuclear
program with "peaceful ends" at the same time that he highlighted
the right to "a safe and sovereign Israeli state". In retribution,
Ahmadinejad defended Brazil's bid to occupy a permanent seat on the
U.N. Security Council. One should question how valid [relevant]this
support is." (Nov 25, page A8)
HEARNE

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