It was one of his last diplomatic gestures, and it was an important one. In early December 2010, only a few days before leaving his job to his successor and disciple Dilma Rousseff, Brazilian President Lula recognized the independent state of Palestine in its pre-1967 borders.
The decision came as a response to a letter sent by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in late November. Addressing President Lula, President Abbas claimed in his letter that Brazil’s recognition of the Palestinian State would “be an important and historic decision, because it will encourage other countries on your continent and in other regions of the world to follow your position and recognize the state of Palestine. This decision will also lead to the furthering of the peace process and to the promotion of the Palestinian position, which seeks the international recognition of the state of Palestine.”