The talks between Lula da Silva (right) and Blinken were described as “frank” (Reuters)

A senior US State Department official said that Secretary of State Anthony Blinken informed Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Washington's rejection of his recent statements regarding Israel's war on Gaza.

In a press briefing after the meeting in Brasilia yesterday, Wednesday, the official explained, “I would like to say that they were frank conversations during which the minister made it clear that we do not agree with those comments,” as he put it.

Da Silva is in the midst of a diplomatic dispute with Tel Aviv after likening Israel's war on the Gaza Strip to the genocide committed by the Nazis during World War II.

Israel said on Monday that the Brazilian president was not welcome there until he retracted his statements.

In turn, the Brazilian President summoned his ambassador to Israel for consultations.

Da Silva previously described the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, which was carried out by the Palestinian resistance on October 7, as a “terrorist act,” but since then, he has strongly criticized the retaliatory military campaign launched by Israel against Gaza, leaving tens of thousands of martyrs and wounded and massive destruction. Residential buildings and vital facilities.

Before the meeting, American officials said they expected da Silva and Blinken to hold talks on global security issues, including the war on Gaza.

The Brazilian president's office said in a statement following the meeting, which lasted nearly two hours, that da Silva and Blinken discussed several topics that extended from the G20 summit to "peace efforts" in Gaza and Ukraine.

The Brazilian government said, "President da Silva reiterated his desire for peace and an end to the conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip... and the two sides agreed on the necessity of establishing a Palestinian state."

According to statements by its officials, the United States, which supported Tel Aviv militarily and diplomatically during the war, urged Israel to protect civilians, but it defended its right to what it describes as self-defense. Last Tuesday, it used its veto in the Security Council for the third time to thwart a ceasefire resolution in sector.

Da Silva (right) and Blinken agreed in their conversation on the necessity of establishing a Palestinian state (Reuters)

US presidential elections

Before Blinken headed to South America, US Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols told reporters that exchanging ideas about the conflict in Gaza would be “necessary during the talks” between da Silva and Blinken.

In brief statements to reporters during their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Brasilia, the Brazilian President referred to the US presidential elections scheduled to be held next November.

Blinken responded by saying that politics in the United States is witnessing “extreme polarization,” and that the outcome of the presidential elections may depend only on the results of 6 or 7 states, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada.

Blinken added, "There is a decline in the number of voters who have not yet made their decision. There is a struggle (to gain the support of) a very small segment of voters."

This week, Brazil will host a meeting of foreign ministers of the G20 countries in Rio de Janeiro, as it holds the rotating presidency of the group.

Source: Al Jazeera + agencies