Israeli PM meets Bolsonaro in Brazil

01 January, 2019, 13:23 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • Netanyahu Could Cut Unprecedented Brazil Visit Over Politics At Home

"I intend to visit Israel before March with a large delegation so that we can put into practice as quickly as possible this strategic partnership with the State of Israel", Bolsonaro said.

Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, will be staying in Rio until Tuesday, when they will fly to Brasilia for the inauguration.

"This visit to the biggest country in Latin America will strengthen trade and economic ties between the two countries", Netanyahu's office said in a statement. "We want to be your partners in this effort, we think our cooperation can give both our people tremendous benefits - in the economy, employment, security, agriculture, water, industry, in every domain of human endeavor".

"The situation is similar to [US President Donald] Trump's declaration" that he planned to move the US embassy in December of 2017, the source said.

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Netanyahu came for President-elect Jair Bolsonaro's inauguration January 1, but arrived several days early in Rio de Janeiro to meet with the incoming far-right leader and several other top members of the new administration. But neither man raised the topic in their comments to media, and no questions were taken.

The Brazilian newspaper O Globo had reported Wednesday that Netanyahu chose to shorten his week long visit to just two days after his coalition announced the dissolution of the Knesset and moved up elections to April 9. Brazil has traditionally backed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Brazil, he said, "is an huge country with enormous potential for Israel from an economic, security and diplomatic point of view".

Most Brazilians believe the government should better control the flow of immigrants into the country, a survey released on Friday showed.

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Bolsonaro and his team have excluded the leaders of leftwing-ruled nations Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua from the inauguration.

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. "Israel is the promised land and Brazil is the land of promise".

United States allies including Israel were caught by surprise by President Donald Trump's abrupt announcement last week that he was pulling U.S. troops out of Syria, where Israel's arch-foe Iran has built up a significant military and political presence.

Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria that it says are targeting Iranian forces and their Hezbollah allies.

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