Ahmadinejad meets with former Brazilian president
IRNA – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with former Brazilian President Lula da Silva on the sideline of Rio+20 Summit on Wednesday.
Ahmadinejad wished good health and quick recovery for Da Silva and invited him to visit Tehran one more time.
Dasilva for his part praised the Iranian president's speech at the summit and approved of Tehran's position on various international issues.
Teh Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, heading a high-ranking delegation, started a two-day visit to Brazil Wednesday morning in a bid to hold meetings with senior Brazilian officials.
The visit came at the invitation of his Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff.
Earlier, Ahmadinejad stopped in Bolivia en route to Brazil and was welcomed by his Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales.
The two sides discussed regional and international issues as well as ways to expand mutual cooperation, particularly in the areas of farming, mining, oil and gas, and healthcare.
In Brazil, President Ahmadinejad will participate in the Rio+20 Summit.
The high-level environmental meeting entitled the Rio+20 Summit, also known as the Earth Summit, which is formally called the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, will be held from June 20 to 22 at the Riocentro Convention Centre in Rio de Janeiro.
Later in the week, the Iranian president will visit Caracas to meet his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez and review bilateral relations and recent cooperation.
Iran has in recent years expanded friendly ties with Latin America, specially in economic, trade and industrial fields.
Since taking office in 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has expanded Iran's cooperation with many Latin American states, including Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba.
Iran's strong and rapidly growing ties with Latin America, especially with Venezuela, have raised eyebrows in the US and its western allies since Tehran and Latin nations have forged an alliance against the imperialist and colonialist powers and are striving hard to reinvigorate their relations with the other independent countries which pursue a line of policy independent from the US.
Leaders in all four Latin American nations have enhanced diplomatic and trade ties with Iran in recent years while their relations with the United States have been downgraded amid popular demands for an end to dependence on Washington.
For several decades, Iran has made strategic attempts to increase its presence and activity in Latin America. With six permanent diplomatic offices in the region, including Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico, and Cuba, as well as temporary envoys in Chile and Colombia, Iran is gearing up for the establishment of a stronghold in the continent.
With emerging anti-Imperialist leaders in the region viewing this relationship as part of a political realignment that excludes the United States and with American attention focused on other areas of the world, Iran influence in Latin America is on the rise.