Brazil's Lula, Pope Francis discuss Ukraine war in phone call

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva meets with Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (not pictured) before a summit with presidents of South America to discuss the re-launching of the regional cooperation bloc UNASUR, in Brasilia, Brazil, May 29, 2023. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino/File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday had a phone call with Pope Francis to discuss topics such as the war in Ukraine and environmental protection, the Brazilian government said in a statement.

Lula thanked the pope for his peace efforts but lamented that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia had escalated.

The government added the leftist leader also thanked Francis for his support of measures aimed at protecting the Amazon rainforest.

It added that Lula invited Francis to visit Brazil, noting the Roman Catholic leader replied he would consider the invitation. The two are set to meet in person in Vatican in June or July.

(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Steven Grattan)

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