Da Silva: Tear down W. Bank fence

Brazil's president places wreath on Arafat's tomb, despite Israeli protest.

March 17, 2010 14:30
Da Silva visits Arafat's grave.

Da Silva visits Arafat's grave 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

After visiting the grave of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah on Wednesday, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said the security barrier must come down.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Da Silva added that Brazil would continue to support the Palestinians so that their dream of establishing an independent, secure state will come true.

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Earlier, the Brazilian president placed a wreath on Arafat's tomb, despite criticism from Israel.

The Brazilian leader has said he would like to play a bigger role in Mideast diplomacy. He is visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories this week.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he boycotted meetings with Da Silva because the Brazilian leader did not visit the grave of Zionism's founder Theodor Herzl.

Da Silva's office said no such visit had ever been planned.

There was no immediate Israeli reaction to Da Silva's visit to Arafat's grave.

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