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Lula Blasts Spying Program and Military Action in Syria

09/12/2013 - 08h39

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DIÓGENES CAMPANHA
FROM SÃO PAULO

Brazil's ex-president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, criticized on Thursday the possibility of military intervention in Syria, and expressed scepticism regarding allegations that the regime of Bashar Al-Assad has used chemical weapons during the country's ongoing civil war.

In a seminar organized by the magazine "Carta CapitaL" to discuss the fight against hunger in Africa, Lula recalled the American allegations regarding weapons of mass destruction which were used to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Juca Varella/Folhapress
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, criticized the possibility of military intervention in Syria, and expressed scepticism regarding allegations that the regime of Bashar Al-Assad has used chemical weapons during the country's ongoing civil war.
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, criticized the possibility of military intervention in Syria, and expressed scepticism regarding allegations that the regime of Bashar Al-Assad has used chemical weapons during the country's ongoing civil war.

'Now they say Syria has chemical weapons,' he said. 'Like all of you, I was appalled by those images of dead children [in the Syrian capital Damascus]. I would prefer never to have seen such a thing. But who's to say who is responsible?'

'If we do not create a system of global governance that puts President Dilma on an equal footing with, say, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, we are going to have a serious problem,' he argued. 'Global decisions need to be taken on a multilateral basis.'

He also defended the creation of a Palestinian state. 'In 1948 the UN had the courage to create the State of Israel. Why then, can it not now create a Palestinian state? Some of the region's problems could be resolved if the UN was stronger diplomatically.'

Lula again criticized the United States for the government spying program which targeted President Rousseff. Last week, he said that Barack Obama owed Rousseff, and Brazil, a formal apology.

'In the name of what democracy were Mr. Obama and his intelligence agencies eavesdropping on the conversations of our President? What was the crime that Dilma committed?' he asked.

He also joked about the ease with which information on foreign citizens is accessed by the American National Security Agency (NSA). 'Obama will soon have to apologize for all the spies who were killed in the past, who needed passports, plane tickets. Those days are gone. Now they can just go into an office anywhere in New York to do their work.'

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

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