Bolsonaro Dines with Ambassadors of Islamic-Majority Countries

Goal of the dinner was to shore up economic relations


In a bid to shore up economic relations with Arab and Islamic-majority countries, President Jair Bolsonaro dined with the ambassadors of 36 countries on Tuesday.   

President Jair Bolsonaro said he hopes that Brazil's commercial ties with these nations will become "bonds of friendship, respect, and fraternity".

Bolsonaro’s short statement is a nod to the Arab community, with whom Brazil has strong commercial ties, especially in the export of animal protein.

(Brasília - DF, 10/04/2019) During the dinner, Bolsonaro said that he plans to travel to Arab countries (FAMBRAS). Foto: Alan Santos/PR

But relations with these countries have deteriorated since the Brazilian government began building close ties with Israel. The President visited Israel last week and announced during the visit that Brazil would create a commercial office in Jerusalem, a land under dispute between Palestinians and Jews.

The agribusiness sector has a strong interest in Brazil maintaining a good relationship with the Arab countries and fears that the rapprochement of the current government with Israel will smash trade relations.

During the dinner, Bolsonaro said that he plans to travel to Arab countries but he did not mention dates nor which countries. 

A total of 41 ambassadors were invited and only five did not attend: the United Arab Emirates, Benin, Mali, Albania, and Suriname.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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