Brazil's Foreign Ministry formally announced on Sunday it will open a business office in Jerusalem, backtracking on President Jair Bolsonaro's promise to move his country's embassy to Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel and Brazil are at the verge of a new magnificent era of relations. Brazil is a world power, and Israel, which is an ancient country, is a new technological super-power, he said.
Brazil decided to create an office in Jerusalem to promote trade, investment, technology and innovation as a part of its embassy in Israel, the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia said in a statement.
In Israel on an official visit nine days before the Israeli election, Bolsonaro met with Netanyahu and his cabinet minister, who signed various bilateral agreements between the two countries.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Netanyahu, Bolsonaro said the wedding [between our two countries that] we are celebrating today is going to bring many benefits to both our peoples.
While the leaders met, around 50 Brazilian protesters gathered outside. The Israeli premier is also scheduled to host Bolsonaro for an official dinner at his residence in Jerusalem.
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Besides pressure from Arab countries not to move the embassy, Brazil’s timid decision also reflects the fact that many countries aren’t convinced an embassy move would necessarily help them with the Trump administration, as had been previously thought. This is a result of Trump’s decision to cut all U.S. assistance to Guatemala, the only country in the world that moved its embassy to Jerusalem after the U.S..
Since the U.S. embassy moved to Jerusalem in May, only Guatemala has done the same, with Paraguay moving its embassy and then retracting. Despite Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu's efforts, the European Union has remained united. Hungary opened a trade office in Jerusalem, the Czech Republic opened a cultural center and there is an ongoing struggle in Romania over the issue.
Honduras, which Netanyahu helped via mediation efforts with the United States, recently announced that it will open a trade office in Jerusalem. Netanyahu tried to help convince the Trump administration to support Honduras in return for an embassy move, but his mediation efforts failed.
Australia, whose prime minister is an evangelical Christian, announced the opening of a defense and trade office in the city and recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Philippines has voiced similar intentions but has not yet changed policy.
We will always remember Brazil's role in the United Nations plan to partition the then-British-controlled Mandate of Palestine and that of Brazilian envoy Oswaldo Aranha who presided over the UN General Assembly session that voted for the partition of Palestine and for the creation of a Jewish state in 1947, Netanyahu said.
Ever since my visit to Brazil, the first of a sitting Israeli prime minister, Israel has sent expert teams and delegations to Brazil. [The series of agreements] is only the beginning, the premier said.
Transportation and Interim Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz and Brazil's Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo signed bilateral agreements regarding matters of security and aviation.
Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis and his Brazilian counterpart Lt. Col. Marcos Pontes signed a bilateral agreement regarding matters of science and technology.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Brazil's Foreign Ministry will sign an agreement touching on matters of public security.
National Cyber Director Yigal Unna and Brazil's Minister of Institutional Security Augusto Heleno signed a memo of understanding regarding cyber cooperation between the two countries.
Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and Brazil's Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo signed a memo of understanding on advancing health issues.