A deal signed between Brazil and Palestine in 2010 has come into force, Brazilian Vice President, Geraldo Alckmin, announced.
The agreement was signed when President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva carried out the first trip by a Brazilian head of state to Palestine during the last year of his second term. President Lula, at the time, had taken many measures in favour of Palestine, including raising diplomatic representation between the two countries and giving a plot of land near the Brazilian presidential palace to the Palestinian embassy.
“The Government of Brazil recognises the desire to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two countries; Considers the mutual interest in promoting socioeconomic development; realises the urgent need to emphasise sustainable development; and knows the reciprocal advantages of technical cooperation in areas of common interest, the Brazilian government announces the start-up of the agreement between the two countries,” the Brazilian government said in a presidential decree.
The two parties, it added, “will specify the areas of common priority, mechanisms and procedures, work plans and project implementation mechanisms, and cooperate projects together that can receive contributions from both countries, as well as being authorised to seek financing from international organisations, funds, international and regional programs and other donors.”
Under the agreement, a series of measures will facilitate the movement of people and equipment, as well as provide tax exemptions for goods imported to implement projects.”
“There were some obstacles when this agreement was signed 12 years ago due to some parliamentary bureaucracies, such as votes in the House and Senate committees, starting with those on Foreign Relations and National Defence and Justice and Citizenship. These agreements suffered some paralysis and they haven’t been applied,” Ualid Rabah, president of the Palestine Arab Federation of Brazil (FEPAL), explained.
“Today the spectrum of cooperation can be much greater, including some sensitive technologies through its universities and technological institutes,” he added.
According to Rabah, political inconsistencies which affected Brazil in recent years meant it took some work to complete the legislative assessments. “There were several meetings with deputies and senators, both government and others, to advance the processing of the agreements.”
“A new government began to lead Brazil now, so we resumed our efforts with the new executive authority. We have met with its members since they began their work last January. We feel that all these efforts were worth the effort and have paid off.”
Brazil and Palestine have signed three other cooperation agreements in education, culture and free trade sectors. While Brazil has already cooperated with Palestine in the areas of urbanisation and public communication, and the two countries aim to increase cooperation in agriculture, health, sports, education and elections.
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