Portuguese president arrives in Rio and avoids talking about canceled lunch with Bolsonaro

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The president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, arrived this Saturday (2) in Rio de Janeiro. According to the Portuguese government, the head of state should meet with former presidents Lula (PT) and Michel Temer (MDB).

At first, the forecast was that Rebelo de Sousa would have lunch with Jair Bolsonaro (PL). On Friday (1), the Brazilian president announced the cancellation of the meeting. Bolsonaro said he made the decision because of the Portuguese meeting with Lula.

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Asked if he had already received any official communication from the Brazilian government and whether or not he will go to Brasília, Rebelo de Sousa said: “I have the program I have. I will, of course, do the initial program for now. As for the rest, let’s wait.”

The Portuguese head of state must also participate in the celebrations for the centenary of the crossing of the Atlantic and attend the Bienal do Livro, in São Paulo.

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On Friday night (1st), while waiting to board to Brazil at Lisbon Airport, the Portuguese president said that “whoever invites to lunch is the one who decides whether to have lunch or not”.

When asked if Bolsonaro’s decision could harm relations between the countries, Rebelo de Sousa stressed that “the relations between Brazil and Portugal are between peoples”.

According to Brazilian government sources interviewed by CNN in Brasília, the decision was strange to the diplomats involved in the negotiation.

*With information from Leandro Magalhães

Source: CNN Brasil

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