Israeli PM meets Bolsonaro in Brazil

01 January, 2019, 13:26 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Mike Pompeo to Discuss With Brazil's Leader Human Rights in Cuba Venezuela- State Department

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened the first visit to Brazil by a leader of Israel on Friday, saying he hopes for a strong partnership between the two countries.

Netanyahu is scheduled to land in Rio on Friday, where he will be the first and only foreign leader to meet with Bolsonaro before he is sworn in next week.

According to the agenda of the visit released by the Israeli Embassy in Brasilia, Netanyahu will have on Tuesday, same day of Bolsonaro's investiture, bilateral meetings with the presidents of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernandez, and Chile, Sebastian Piñera, and then talk with Pompeo.

Bolsonaro later Friday attended a Rio synagogue with Netanyahu and told the congregation that Brazil meant to move forward in the world not only with Israel "but with other countries such as the United States that think and have a similar ideology to our own". The Arab and Muslim world warned the Brazilian president-elect that such a change would negatively affect trade ties.

Netanyahu made his Brazil trip despite domestic political turmoil in Israel and a spike in military volatility in neighboring Syria.

The Secretary of Public Security in Brasilia told the Associated Press that they are expecting as many as 500,000 people to attend the ceremony.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will head a USA delegation to Brazil seeking to foster closer ties with the far-right incoming president, Jair Bolsonaro, and discuss ways to counter the Venezuelan government.

Bolsonaro said before and after his election that Brazil would follow the U.S. lead and transfer its embassy to Jerusalem.

"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.

He added: "We are happy to be able to start a new era between Israel and a great power called Brazil". He said that for his country to overcome obstacles, "we need good allies, good friends, good brothers, like Benjamin Netanyahu".

In preparation for his tenure as president, Bolsonaro has sent aides to Israel to study desalination technology and to investigate the potential purchase of drones for use by Brazilian security forces. Brazil has traditionally backed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The State Department said Thursday that Pompeo plans to meet with Netanyahu in Brasilia in what would be their first meeting since Trump announced that the USA would withdraw its military presence from Syria.

Both Netanyahu and Bolsonaro admire Trump, and are keen to forge closer relations between their countries. Brazil-Israel trade now amounts to $1.2 billion.

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