Wednesday, 24 Apr 2019 - 19 of Nisan, 5779

Brazil opens trade mission in Jerusalem as ‘first step’ toward embassy opening

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JERUSALEM—‘’I welcome your decision to open a trade, technology and innovation office, an official office of the government of Brazil, in Jerusalem. I hope that this is a first step toward the opening in time of the Brazilian Embassy in Jerusalem,’’ said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during  joint statements with visiting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Jerusalem.

Brazil delayed plans to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem – a move that Bolsanoro  promised to make three months ago when he became president of Brazil-
but instead, as a first step in that direction, opened a trade mission.

In an interview,  Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao, a retired army general, told Reuters that moving the embassy was a bad idea because it would hurt Brazil’s exports to Arab countries, including an estimated $5 billion in sales of halal food that comply with Muslim dietary laws.

Bolsonaro, who started Sunday a four-day visit to Israel, will also visit the Western Wall with Netanyahu on Monday.

On Tuesday, he will visit Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, where he will tour the “Flashes of Memory – Photography during the Holocaust” exhibition, participate in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance and sign the Yad Vashem Guest Book.

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