Lula affirms he will replace Ministers when he so desires

02/11/2003 - 19h50

San Tomé and Principe, November 3, 2003 (Agência Brasil - ABr) - During a visit on Sunday (2) to San Tomé and Principe, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in answer to a reporter's question about Cabinet reform in his Administration and whether any of the Ministers accompanying him on his African trip will be affected, affirmed that "I am not announcing a Cabinet reform. I nominated my Ministers when I wanted to and I will replace them when I so desire. This is not what concerns me."

In his first act on the African continent, President Lula inaugurated the Brazilian Embassy building in San Tomé and Principe. "This embassy will not be the house of Brazil in San Tomé; rather it will be the house of the Mercosur on the African continent," Lula pointed out.

"I want to tell all those who are here at the inauguration of this embassy that this act is the start of repayment of an historical debt Brazil owes Africa, and we are going to pay. For many years Brazil turned its back on Africa. Now is the moment to make up for lost time. We can form partnerships in many areas in which Brazil has accumulated experience," the President declared. (DAS)