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Brazil's Lula to miss final

2010-07-09 15:49
Pretoria – Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will not attend the closing ceremony of the World Cup because of duties he has to attend to in his home country.

"I will not be staying. I've been away for seven days already and I'm followed by phone calls from Brazil," Lula said in Pretoria on Friday.

He was speaking after signing an agreement on co-operation between South Africa and Brazil at the Union Buildings.

Lula also indicated he had to attend to the flood in the north eastern parts of Brazil.

President Jacob Zuma said he would not be persuading Lula to stay for the ceremony as he would have done the same.

"I invited my brother, but then he explained that duty was calling and I have no intention to persuade him."

Lula, who is on a state visit to South Africa, said he had been received well and was the first Brazilian president to visit Africa a number of times.

He had been to 27 African countries so far and would be making his 28th trip to Mozambique.

Lula emphasised the importance of bilateral relations between Brazil and South Africa.

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