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In White House meeting, Biden and Lula reaffirm commitment to safeguarding democracy

President Joe Biden meets Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Friday. Lula's visit comes just a month after a mob attacked Brazil's governmental buildings in a scene reminiscent of the Jan. 6 insurrection in the United States. Photo by Andrew Harrer/UPI .
1 of 5 | President Joe Biden meets Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Friday. Lula's visit comes just a month after a mob attacked Brazil's governmental buildings in a scene reminiscent of the Jan. 6 insurrection in the United States. Photo by Andrew Harrer/UPI . | License Photo

Feb. 10 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden and newly re-elected Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met on Friday at the White House, as both leaders reaffirmed their support for democratic institutions.

Lula's visit came just a month after a mob attacked Brazil's governmental buildings in a scene reminiscent of the Jan. 6 insurrection in the United States. With that in mind, both leaders affirmatively said that they would continue to stand up for democracy.

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"Both our nations' strong democracies have been tested of late -- very much tested -- and our institutions are put in jeopardy," Biden said. "But both in the United States and Brazil, democracy prevailed."

"We're the two largest democracies in the hemisphere. Brazil, the United States stand together, we reject political violence, and we put great value in our democratic institutions," he added.

Lula thanked Biden for his support and sharply criticized Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who served from 2019 to 2022.

"The former president didn't enjoy to keep international relations with any country," Lula said. "His world started and ended with fake news -- in the morning, afternoon, and at night. It seems that he despised international relations."

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Lula also emphasized a commitment between the two nations to work together on climate change, saying he would attempt to roll back Bolsonaro's deforestation policies in the Amazon.

"And I took a pledge that, until 2030, we will reach zero deforestation in the rainforest, in the Amazon," Lula said. "We will take all the endeavors to transform the Amazon, not a shrine for the humanity, but a center for research, shared with all the rest of the world so that we can benefit of the wealth and biodiversity that exists in the Amazon."

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