Brazil Opens Trade Office in Jerusalem Ahead of Expected Embassy Move

Brazil's Bolsonaro meets Netanyahu in pre-vote visit to Israel
AFP

JERUSALEM – Brazil will relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro pledged at the opening of a new trade mission in Israel’s capital.

Eduardo Bolsonaro made his remarks while attending the inauguration of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, an arm of Brazil’s foreign ministry, in Jerusalem.

“As my father says, the Brazilian Embassy will move to Jerusalem. It’s not something extraordinary. It’s supposed to be a natural and normal thing,” Bolsonaro said.

The elder Bolsonaro pledged to move the embassy during his election campaign. Shortly after his election, he tweeted, “We intend to move the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel is a sovereign country and we respect them.”

However, he backed down from his promise following an outcry from the Arab world, which has strong trade relations with Brazil.

The US and Guatemala both relocated their embassies to Jerusalem. Honduras is expected to follow suit in the very near future. That country also has a trade mission in the capital, as do Hungary, Australia and the Czech Republic.

On Friday, Bolsonaro referred to the opening of the trade office, known as Apex-Brasil, saying, “My son Eduardo is in Jerusalem with Benjamin Netanyahu. We are opening an Apex business office in Jerusalem. We believe in God and are looking for the best for the country.”

He stressed that he still intends to move the embassy: “It is only symbolic, but it is worth a lot to those who believe in God.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the move to open a trade mission, saying, “We have no better friends than the people and government of Brazil.”

In a visit to Jerusalem earlier this year, Bolsonaro professed his love for Israel in Hebrew, telling Netanyahu, “Ani ohev et Israel” or “I love Israel.”

 

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