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Netanyahu Hopes New Brazilian Trade Office in Jerusalem ‘First Step’ towards Embassy

March 31, 2019 News

PM Netanyahu & Brazilian Pres. Bolsonaro. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / Israeli GPO

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came away from a visit to Brazil a few months ago with promises from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to open an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. On Sunday, that promise was not fulfilled by Bolsonaro during a visit to Israel, but other actions left Netanyahu hopeful. “I welcome your decision to open a trade, technology and innovation office, an official office of the Government of Brazil, in Jerusalem. I hope that this is a first step toward the opening in time of the Brazilian Embassy in Jerusalem,” said Netanyahu to the Brazilian leader, according to an Israeli press release.

In prior comments, Netanyahu noted that Bolsonaro is making his first visit out of South America by coming to Israel, bringing with him the “largest Brazilian delegation” to ever visit the Jewish State. “You have come to Israel in order to bring relations between us to a new height,” said Netanyahu.

As part of the visit, the two leaders on Sunday signed agreements in security, public security, aviation, and science and technology, as well as memorandums of understanding in health and cyber. During the time with the leader of Brazil, Netanyahu noted that Israeli delegations in a variety of fields have visited Brazil since Netanyahu’s trip to the South American country. He said that the agreements with Brazil were “in wake of these contacts, and this is only the beginning.”

“We signed many agreements but the most important agreement is the agreement in the heart,” said Netanyahu to Bolsonaro in separate comments released by his office. “We feel a partnership of values and of outlook in all areas, and above all we feel what Sara [Netanyahu] and I felt when we met the people in Brazil—great love, great admiration. This is the same support, admiration and love that Israel has for Brazil and for the new start that you bring.”

In the past, Brazil-Israeli relations have not been what they could be, but Netanyahu believes Bolsonaro is changing that.

“We are pleased that after years of relations that were a little hesitant, you have decided—we decided together—to open a new era of partnership and cooperation in all areas.”

That hope—hope for better relations, hope for a Brazilian embassy in Jerusalem—is the theme of the Brazilian visit to Israel so far.

“I think that you represent great hope for a new start in Brazil. This is abundantly clear from your decision to be here and from your being under our roof, which is an amazing new start in Brazil-Israel relations,” said Netanyahu to Bolsonaro.

“…I would like to welcome you my friend and say to you and to the entire wonderful delegation that you brought—Welcome to Jerusalem the capital of Israel.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, March 31, 2019)

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