Da Silva falls ill on plane

BRASILIA - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva suffered an attack of high blood pressure just before he was to leave for Switzerland and was hospitalized overnight, officials said.

BRASILIA - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva suffered an attack of high blood pressure just before he was to leave for Switzerland and was hospitalized overnight, officials said.

He was released early yesterday.

Da Silva, 64, was in the presidential plane in Recife preparing to head for the World Economic Forum in Davos when he fell ill late on Wednesday and was taken to a hospital, his personal physician said.

The trip to Davos was cancelled.

It was the first time Da Silva had been hospitalised since he became president in 2003. "It was caused by a series of factors ... stress and fatigue," Da Silva's doctor Cleber Ferreira said. "It was a sporadic episode."

Ferreira said the heat of Brazil's summer and the fact that the president recently had a light case of flu contributed to his exhaustion.

Silva had been set to receive a new Global Statesmanship Award in Davos. - Sapa-AP

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