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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Seeks Brazil Soccer Game Versus Israel-Palestine

Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who says the U.S. is responsible for the crisis in the Middle East, said he’ll seek to stage a soccer game against a joint Israel-Palestine team to help the peace process.

“I’ve had a dream for the past three years, to organize a peace game in a neutral stadium, of a mixed team, Israel and Palestinians, against the Brazilian national team,” Lula said today in his weekly radio program. “This would be an extraordinary achievement for Brazil and, above all, a very important sign for peace.”

Brazil is seeking a broader role in the Middle East as part of the country’s push for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. Lula this month hosted Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

Lula, who will today meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said he plans to visit Israel, the Palestine territories and Jordan in March, when the game could be held.

“It won’t work to leave Iran isolated,” Lula said. “If Iran is an important actor in this strife, it’s important for someone to sit with Iran, to talk with Iran.”

Lula reiterated that the United Nations should lead peace negotiations in the Middle East.


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