Bolsonaro Wants To Move Brazilian Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem

President-elect disclosed plans to Israeli newspaper; Binyamin Netanyahu plans to come to Bolsonaro's inauguration

Daniela Kresch
Tel Aviv

Jair Bolsonaro confirmed on Thursday (1st) his plans to move the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. "Israel is a sovereign state, and we respect that," he said.

Hours later, the Israel prime-minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked Bolsonaro: "I congratulate my friend president-elect Jair Messias Bolsonaro for his pledge to transfer the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem, a historical and thrilling step in the right direction!" he said.

A picture shows the Israeli and Brazilian flags hanging outside the building housing the offices of the Brazilian Embassy, in Tel Aviv - AFP

During a press conference with TV networks, Bolsonaro said: "We respect the Israelis and the Arabs. We don't want to create issues with anyone. We want to trade with everybody and find peaceful ways to solve problems."

The transfer was announced to Israel in an interview with newspaper Israel Hayom. In the piece, Bolsonaro is quoted as saying "Israel is a sovereign state. You decide where is your capital and we will follow you."

The interview followed up a Folha report that Netanyahu plans to attend Bolsonaro's inauguration in January.

Asked whether he plans to close the Palestinian embassy in Brasilia, which was one of his campaign promises, Bolsonaro replied: "[The embassy] was built too close to the presidential residence, so we plan to transfer it to another location. Besides, Palestine needs to be a state before it is entitled to an embassy."

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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