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Israel's acting PM Netanyahu says Brazil will move its embassy to Jerusalem in 2020

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a visit to Jerusalem.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a visit to Jerusalem.   -   Copyright  Menahem Kahana/Pool via REUTERS
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Brazil will follow the United States and move its embassy to Jerusalem next year.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has expressed before his intention of moving his country's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but senior officials later backtracked for fear of damaging trade ties with Arab countries.

Brazil opened a trade mission to Israel in Jerusalem this year. Bolsonaro's son, lawmaker Eduardo Bolsonaro, told the new trade mission that, before travelling, his father ensured him that he will move the embassy to Jerusalem.

He did not give a date. Later, Netanyahu issued a statement saying Eduardo Bolsonaro told him they had "committed to moving Brazil's embassy to Jerusalem in 2020".

So far, only the United States and Guatemala have moved their embassies to Jerusalem. US President Donald Trump broke global consensus by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital in late 2017 and moving the US embassy there the following May.

REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at an event whereby the visiting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Netanyahu met with Israeli and Brazilian business people in Jerusalem April 2, 2019REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

New trade office in Jerusalem

The Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX) opened an office in Jerusalem on Sunday. The event was attended by Eduardo Bolsonaro, who mentioned the "beautiful history between Brazil and Israel".

Israel's acting Prime Minister described the moment as "promising" and pointed out that "the opening of the APEX office in Jerusalem is part of what has been agreed in the strengthening of relations between Israel and Brazil and of President Bolsonaro's commitment to open an embassy in Jerusalem next year".

Netanyahu thanked the Brazilian president for supporting Israel in international organizations and emphasized the "incredible potential of cooperation between the two countries," for which, he said, the new office will contribute enormously.

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