Israeli source insists Brazil embassy move to Jerusalem 'a matter of time'

Charlene Craig
January 1, 2019

From the airport, Israel's prime minister traveled to Copacabana Fort where he will meet Bolsonaro for the first time. Besides meeting with the president-elect, he will meet with Brazilian officials, regional leaders and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Netanyahu, the first Israeli prime minister to visit Brazil, flew in to Rio de Janeiro to meet with Bolsonaro, an ideological ally who takes office on January 1 after his election victory in October.

Bolsonaro and Netanyahu are also expected to discuss the Brazilian elected president's proposal to move his country's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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A senior State Department official said Pompeo was eager to talk with Bolsonaro about his plans for exerting Brazil's sovereignty in dealing with other nations and with global organizations. "We agreed between us on the way to take this cooperation to new heights". "Israel is the promised land and Brazil is the land of promise".

Brazil's far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro has said he will relax the country's restrictive gun laws to allow people with no criminal record to own a firearm.

The tweet said that Brazil stood to benefit from ties to Israel because it was a leader in a number of technologies.

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"Brazil is the land of land of promise", Netanyahu said in a line that - after it was translated into Portuguese - brought a small smile to Bolsonaro, who otherwise stood rather expressionless during the statements. "It's hard to believe that we had no such contacts before", he added. Brazil has traditionally backed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu had told reporters on his flight to Brazil that "you can be certain I will speak with him about [the embassy] in our first meeting".

The two also visited a synagogue among tight security including snipers on nearby roofs, where Netanyahu emphasized his hopes the two countries could operate in a more aligned and friendly manner in the future. But Bolsonaro and Netanyahu have developed an increasingly warm relationship with similar views on security issues.

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