European leaders celebrate Lula’s election win in Brazil

OVIEDO, Spain

Several European leaders hailed Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva’s victory in Brazil’s presidential election, with congratulatory messages pouring in on Monday.

Lula won on Sunday against outgoing leader Jair Bolosonaro, with 50.9% of the vote.

While Bolsonaro has yet to concede or acknowledge Lula’s victory, many European leaders are excited that it will usher in a new era for their relationship with Brazil.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Lula’s election “opens a new page in the history of Brazil”, adding that the two nations “will join forces to meet our many common challenges and rebuild the bond of friendship between our two countries”.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Brazilians had chosen “progress and hope” in electing Lula.

“We will work together for social justice, equality and against climate change,” said the leftist Spanish leader.

“I look forward with great enthusiasm to our work together in the years to come,” Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said, highlighting a new era in bilateral relations and global cooperation.

New British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has also expressed his readiness to work with Lula.

“I look forward to working together on the issues that matter to the UK and Brazil, from growing the global economy to protecting the planet’s natural resources and promoting democratic values.” he tweeted.

For her part, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen highlighted Brazil’s role in important global challenges such as food security, trade and climate change.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he looked forward to “close and trusting cooperation with Brazil, especially on trade and climate protection issues”.

After the victory, Lula promised to usher in a new era of “peace, love and hope”. He also promised that Brazil would resume its role in fighting climate change, protecting biodiversity and stopping deforestation in the Amazon.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also joined the chorus of leaders congratulating Lula, tweeting that he “trusts active collaboration…to ensure democracy, peace, security and prosperity in Ukraine, Brazil and in the world !”

While Brazil under Bolsonaro has remained “neutral” on the war in Ukraine, Lula has also avoided taking a hawkish stance toward Russia.

According to Russian news agency Tass, President Vladimir Putin sent his “sincere congratulations” to Lula, adding that he expects “our joint efforts to ensure the development of constructive cooperation between Russia and the Brazil in all areas”.

By mid-Monday far-right European leaders such as Italy’s Giorgia Meloni, Poland’s Mateusz Morawiecki and Hungary’s Viktor Orban had remained silent on the results of the presidential run-off.

In contrast, Lula’s victory was applauded by Greek leftist opposition leader Alexis Tsipras.

“Your victory against the far right, despite all odds, is a victory for democracy/social justice and the struggle of leftist and progressive forces across the world,” he tweeted.

*Magda Panoutsopoulou in Greece, Ahmet Gurhan Kartal in the UK contributed to this story.

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