In the eight years that I held the presidency of the Republic of Brazil (2003-2010), I met with dozens of world leaders at bilateral meetings and during many multilateral engagements that have come to characterise the world of intense diplomatic activities in recent decades.
Few personalities impressed me as much as Manmohan Singh.
One of the first foreign policy initiatives of my government, in 2003, was, along with Manmohan, the creation of the IBSA (India-Brazil-South Africa). It is a coalition that brought together three large democracies from three different continents to promote economic and social development, world peace and multilateralism. In addition to the historical ties that bind us with Africa, Brazil started to lend great importance to its relations with India—a distant and large country with which we have been increasingly finding close affinity, despite the cultural differences between us.