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Brazil's Bolsonaro wants to move Israel embassy to Jerusalem

04 November 2018
Brazil's Bolsonaro wants to move Israel embassy to Jerusalem

President-elect Jair Bolsonaro Brazil says he plans to transfer his country's embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem, joining the USA and Guatemala to take the controversial step, condemned widely around the world. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with a warm welcome for this plan.

Only the United States and Guatemala now have their embassies in Jerusalem, while other countries have theirs in Tel Aviv. "Israel is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that", Bolsonaro said in a tweet Thursday.

Abul-Gheit said Brazil had a "good reputation" for respecting global law and enjoyed good relations with most Arab states based on mutual respect and cooperation.

Brazilian far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro has convinced crusading anti-graft Judge Sergio Moro to become his justice minister, the two said yesterday, delighting supporters and enraging critics by hiring the jurist who jailed Bolsonaro's chief political rival.

Jair Bolsonaro, President-elect of Brazil, has vowed to move the country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Bolsonaro on Thursday announced his intention to relocate his country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem once he formally assumes the presidency.

Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the worldwide community.

Bolsonaro, who rode a wave of anti-establishment anger to victory in Sunday's election, wants to slash the number of ministries from 29 to 15, in the name of reining in public spending.

"In the event I'm indeed offered a post, it will be subject to a balanced discussion and reflection", Moro said in a statement on Tuesday.

Dubbed a "Tropical Trump" by some for his vitriolic rhetoric and social media populism, Bolsonaro has wasted no time rolling out his agenda in the four days since the election.

On the diplomatic front, the embassy move squarely aligns him with US President Donald Trump, and bolsters his image as a "Tropical Trump".

Rubens Barbosa, former Brazilian Ambassador to the United States, has warned that such a move could hurt Brazil's exports to the Middle East. "Brazil would be throwing away $6 billion per year in poultry sales to Arab countries", he said, as cited by Associated Press.

Bolsonaro, who will assume the office of the Brazilian President from January 1, has often hinted towards his wish for closer ties with Israel, pledging his support for the Middle Eastern nation on the global stage during the interview with Israel Hayom. "Can we maintain diplomatic relations with a country that treats its people that way?"

John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, has described Bolsonaro and Trump as "like-minded" individuals.