President Ali among top world leaders at Lula’s inauguration

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Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali was among more than 60 world leaders attending the inauguration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Sunday in Brasilia, the capital of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

Dr. Ali arrived in Brazil by plane Sunday morning, mere hours before the ceremony got underway and was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd.

They both met and greeted the new Brazilian President who has been elected to the top post for the third time.

Among the other regional leaders at the inauguration was Surinamese President Chandrikapersad Santokhi. Guyana, Suriname and Brazil had begun talks on the construction of an energy corridor before the recent elections which saw the defeat of Jair Bolsonaro at the October 2022 polls.

Surinamese President Chandrikapersad Santokhi arrives in Brasilia along with wife for the inauguration.

The two heads are likely to continue that conversation with Lula to connect the nations’  significant oil and gas reserves with potential infrastructure projects along the corridor worth around $800 million.

But on a bilateral level, Guyana is also in talks with the Brazilian government and private sector agencies on a range of agricultural projects to ensure regional food security.

Other CARICOM Heads at the inauguration on Sunday were Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves, President of the Senate of Jamaica Thomas Tavares-Finson, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Haiti Jean Victor Geneus and President of the Senate of the Dominican Republic Eduardo Estrella Virella.

South American Leaders included the President of Argentine Alberto Angel Fernandez and Colombian President Gustavo Petro along with the President of Chile Gabriel Boric Font.

Dr. Irfaan Ali in conversation with Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves

There were leaders representing other countries like the United States of America, Iran, Russia, China, Kenya, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Lula and Vice-President Geraldo Alckmin paraded through the city on an open-top convertible before proceeding to the Senate – at the start of the formal inauguration ceremony.

The men have spent the past days selecting their cabinet and appointing supporters to key state owned businesses.

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