Brazil will definitely move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, with only the date of the transfer to be decided, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday during a visit to Rio de Janeiro.
“It’s not a question of ‘if’ but of ‘when’,” Mr Netanyahu told members of Rio’s Jewish community, his office said.
He said Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro assured him of the move in a meeting on Saturday.
He pointed to Donald Trump going through with his promise to move the US’s embassy and said “Bolsonaro will also do so”. The issue of the embassy has been hovering over Mr Netanyahu’s visit to Brazil, the first by an Israeli prime minister.
He arrived on Saturday and went straight into his meeting with Mr Bolsonaro, who is to be sworn in at a ceremony in Brasilia today, with Mr Netanyahu among the foreign dignitaries attending.
Mr Bolsonaro said in early November he intended to follow Mr Trump’s lead in moving his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But then he backtracked, saying “it hasn’t been decided yet.” Brazil’s important meat producers are worried that an embassy move will threaten $US1 billion ($1.4bn) in exports to Arab countries.