Netanyahu Meets With Brazil’s President-Elect Bolsonaro, Hails Alliance

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Despite considerable courtship efforts, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far failed to get a public assurance from Brazil's president-elect of his intent to move that country's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Israeli leader met with the president-elect at Fort Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro.

It was all about expressing the bonds of "brotherhood" and mutual desires to boost technological, economic, and military cooperation between Brazil and Israel, during Netanyahu's first day in Brazil, having flown in on Friday, ahead of Jair Bolsonaro's inauguration next week.

"This is another expression of the fact that Israel is a rising world power", he added. "So that we can overcome obstacles, we need good allies, good friends, good brothers, like Benjamin Netanyahu".

"For many, many years, Brazil's official position was always in favor - in global fora - of the Palestinian cause", he said. He also spoke of cooperation in military and agriculture matters.

Bolsonaro has said he wants to follow in the footsteps of United States President Donald Trump and move his country's Israel embassy to Jerusalem.

"The president-elect (Bolsonaro) announced he would (transfer the embassy)". It was the first-ever visit to Brazil by an Israeli prime minister. The two men had lunch in a fort on Copacabana beach before delivering statements.

Netanyahu will be one of the most prominent leaders attending Bolsonaro's swearing-in on Tuesday in the capital Brasilia.

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Brazil and Israel have previously had cordial but strained relations.

Netanyahu came for President-elect Jair Bolsonaro's inauguration January 1, but arrived several days early in Rio de Janeiro to meet with the incoming far-right leader and several other top members of the new administration. "We want more people to partner with Israel, as well as with us".

"We will be starting a hard government from January, but Brazil has potential", Bolsonaro said. They then visited a local synagogue.

Bolsonaro made the statement Saturday via Twitter. In 2010 the country recognized a Palestinian state. Giora Becher, who served as Israel ambassador to Brazil from 2008 to 2011 when Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was the president - and a harsh and vocal critic of israel - said that now Brazil has a president who "says openly that he is pro-Israel ... this is a major change in the foreign policy of Brazil". However, it failed to pass as it fell short of the needed two-third majority.

During his trip, he also has scheduled meetings with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, and Chile's President Sebastian Pinera. We remained faithful to our land and for thousands of years we said 'Next Year in Jerusalem.' We did not lose hope even through pogroms, the expulsion from Spain, the expulsion from Portugal and pogroms in Europe, and not even during the terrible pogroms under the Nazis.

Bolsonaro, 63, who won a run-off election on Sunday, has outraged many with his overtly misogynistic, homophobic and racist rhetoric.

Netanyahu, before boarding his flight to Brazil, expressed similar optimism about meeting Bolsonaro.