As Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad begins his visit to Latin America, most attention will be on the deep opposition of the U.S. to the visit. The Americas Blog at Aljazeera notes another angle that is starting to receive more attention: Lula's desire to project Brazil into the Middle East peace process. He has already hosted Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas:
I spoke about peace with President Shimon Peres, with Mahmoud Abbas and I will speak with Ahmadinejad about it. I am going to speak about it because I think only peace can guarantee the growth of countries, and tranquility of peoples and a better life for people. I have a notion of the significance of the conflicts in the Middle East. I have a notion of the role of Iran, and that of Israel, and the role of Palestine, and of Syria.
A bold move. From the NYT:
Brazilian officials say the holy grail of Mr. da Silva’s Middle Eastern initiative is to improve relations between Israel and the Palestinians, and they see Iran as a key player in resolving the conflict.
But before Lula dives too deeply into one of the most difficult conflicts in the world, he still has to figure out what to do with Mel Zelaya, who is sitting in his Honduran embassy with a very uncertain future.