Brazil's Da Silva begins his visit to Turkey, first-ever by a Brazilian president
Accompanied by a large delegation, including Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, Industry and Trade Minister Miguel Jorge, and businesspeople, Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula Da Silva yesterday came to Istanbul to pay a three-day official visit at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, which is the first-ever by a Brazilian president. The Brazilian leader, a former labor unionist better known as Lula, met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul's Ciragan Palace late yesterday. The meeting was closed to the press. A presidential statement said that the visit was historically important, as it was the firs-ever visit by a Brazilian president to Turkey. Lula Da Silva is expected to meet with President Gul today. As part of his visit, he will also attend a meeting of Turkish-Brazilian Business Council in Istanbul. The Brazilian President will later proceed to Ankara to hold official talks about the ways to diversify cooperation areas in order to improve bilateral relations and exchange views on regional and international issues. The presidential statement also said that an oil drilling agreement would be signed between the Turkish Petroleum Company (TPAO) and Brazil's PetroBras with the presence of Gul and Lula Da Silva as part of the visit.