Middle East

Brazils Bolsonaro begins Israel visit with embassy decision pending

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro arrived in Israel on Sunday just ahead of the countrys polls in which his ally Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a tough re-election fight.

Bolsonaro was welcomed by Netanyahu and an official ceremony at the airport near Tel Aviv.

He will walk a diplomatic tightrope during the three-day visit as he seeks to shore up ties with Netanyahu while avoiding angering key Arab trade partners.

Bolsonaros controversial pledge to move Brazils embassy to Jerusalem is expected to be high on the agenda, as Netanyahu uses the occasion to boost his standing ahead of April 9 elections.

Months after promising the shift, which sparked an angry response from Palestinian leaders, Bolsonaro has yet to announce a timetable.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Bolsonaro suggested he was in no hurry to make a decision.

“Trump took nine months to decide, to give his final word, so that the embassy was transferred,” Bolsonaro said.

“Perhaps now we will open a commercial office in Jerusalem.”

While moving the embassy would please Bolsonaros evangelical Christian support base, it would run the risk of provoking commercial retaliation from Arab states, some of which are major importers of Brazilian meat.

Netanyahu became the first Israeli prime minister to visit Brazil when he travelled there for Bolsonaros January 1 inauguration.

In their discussions then, tRead More – Source

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alarabiya

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