Qatar’s amir congratulates Brazil’s president-elect, a vocal supporter of Palestine

The win was praised by Palestine and environmentalists.

Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani congratulated Brazil’s President-elect Luiz Inacio da Silva (Lula) on his election, the Amiri Diwan said in a statement on Tuesday.

Lula rose to victory in Brazil’s latest elections on Sunday, beating far-right President Jair Bolsonaro and making a comeback to the country’s presidency.

The 77-year-old president-elect ruled Brazil between 2003 and 2010 and was known as an avid supporter of the Palestinian cause. Lula’s administration had recognised Palestine as a state on the 1967 border in 2010, a move that angered the Israeli regime at the time.

In the same year, Lula was the first-ever Brazilian head of state to visit Palestine and Israel.

“I dream of an independent and free Palestine living in peace in the Middle East,” said Lula at the time of his visit to the occupied West Bank.

More recently, Lula met with the Palestinian community in Brazil while donning the iconic Palestinian keffiyeh, a black and white checkered scarf representing resistance against Israeli occupation.

“Palestinians deserve our full attention and solidarity,” said Lula during the meeting in June, as quoted by Middle East Monitor.

Lula’s win was widely celebrated by Palestinians globally, who described the development as a victory for the cause, especially amid concerns of Bolsonaro’s plans to move the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Authorities in Palestine were quick to congratulate Lula on his latest win, with the foreign ministry describing it as “a victory for democracy”.

“We congratulate the Brazilian people who voted for the security of its future and the future of humanity,” the Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Reversing Bolsonaro’s policies

At home in Brazil, Lula’s win ignited hope in improving the dwindling local economy.

During Lula’s time in office, Brazil’s oil production witnessed a 700,000 b/d (barrels per) day growth whereas the output grew by 400,000 b/d, based on data by S&P Global.

Insights by the prominent financial analytics entity estimate that Brazil’s oil and condensate output would potentially reach 3.6 million b/d by 2030.

Other figures showed that Brazil’s government debt reached a record-high of 88.6% in December 2020 and a low of 51.3% during the same month in 2011.

Lula is also expected to reverse some of Bolsonaro’s policies, including his attempts to increase and ease access to guns.

Environmentalists also believe that Lula would double up the approach to protect the Amazon rainforest, especially during increasing warnings over climate change and its ramifications.

During his speech on Sunday, Lula vowed to take effective measures in halting illegal logging and mining that largely contributed to the damage in the Amazon rainforest.

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