March 31 (UPI) — Brazil’s Foreign Ministry announced it will open a diplomatic office in Jerusalem during President Jair Bolsonaro’s trip to Israel on Sunday.
Some expected Bolsonaro to formally announce plans to move Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem after promising to do so in his presidential campaign, but the nation instead opted for the opening of a “business office” as a show of strong relations between the two countries.
“Brazil decided to create an office in Jerusalem to promote trade, investment, technology and innovation as a part of its embassy in Israel,” Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said.
Despite Bolsonaro’s apparent backtracking on his embassy plan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted the potential for a growing relationship between the nations.
“Brazil is a world power, and Israel, which is an ancient country, is a new technological super-power,” he said.
Speaking at a joint press conference, Bolsonaro added that “the wedding [between our two countries that] we are celebrating today is going to bring many benefits to both our peoples.”
During the trip, Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo spoke with acting Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz and the pair signed six agreements Sunday afternoon.
Katz also asked Israel to implement political and economic measures against Iran to halt its nuclear program.
“Israel and Brazil are true friends sharing common values and we will strengthen the cooperation between our two countries,” Katz said.