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Brazil Pope sends message of support to jailed Lula

POPE FRANCIS sent a handwritten letter to jailed former Brazilian president Lula on Thursday after he met a delegation of South American politicians in Rome.

The pontiff sent a message of support  — "To Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva with my blessing, asking him to pray for me, Francisco”  — after an hour-long meeting to discuss the political situation in Brazil.

The delegation to the Vatican included Brazilian former minister of defence Celso Amorim who was joined by former Argentinian minister Alberto Fernandez and Chilean minister Carlos Ominami. 

They discussed the plight of Lula, who has been held in jail since April after receiving a 12-year sentence on trumped-up corruption charges that they branded a form of “lawfare” to prevent his candidacy in this October’s presidential elections.

Mr Amorim presented the Pope with an Italian language version of Lula’s biography The Truth Will Win.

Lula is the country’s most popular politician. He left office in 2011 with an 83 percent approval rating. He remains comfortably ahead in almost every poll for the forthcoming elections.

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