Published: Tue, January 01, 2019
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Brazil president-elect: Looking forward to Netanyahu's visit Israel 14:34

Brazil president-elect: Looking forward to Netanyahu's visit Israel 14:34

Netanyahu and his wife were greeted at the airport Friday by the incoming president's son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, and Rio Mayor Marcelo Bezerra Crivella.

The prime minister of Israel arrived in Brazil for attending the inauguration of Bolsonaro which is scheduled for Tuesday.

Netanyahu said he wanted to respond to the positive overtures from Bolsonaro, a right-winger who promised during his campaign to pursue closer ties with Israel and even spoke of moving the Brazilian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as the U.S. did back in May.

Bolsonaro pledged during his election campaign that Brazil would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the city, claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.

JTA reported that Netanyahu may cut his five-day visit to Brazil short over the political developments in Israel. "We agreed between us on the way to take this cooperation to new heights".

The much-awaited trip marks the end of an era of strained ties between Brazil and the Jewish state.

Despite earlier reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to attend the inauguration of pro-Israel Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro has indicated he will adopt positions similar to those of President Donald Trump.

Netanyahu said that his visit to Brazil "heralds a historic moment". "It's hard to believe that we had no such contacts before", he added.

Netanyahu had told reporters on his flight to Brazil that "you can be certain I will speak with him about [the embassy] in our first meeting".

Netanyahu has met frequently with Pompeo and enjoys a warm relationship with Trump, happy about his withdrawal from a denuclearization deal with Iran and his landmark shift of the United States embassy to Jerusalem.

After leaving Brazil, Pompeo is to make a brief stop in Cartagena, Colombia where he will meet Colombian President Ivan Duque to discuss regional issues, including Venezuela and counter-narcotics efforts, the department said. Brazil-Israel trade now amounts to $1.2 billion.

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