Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro began a visit to the Zionist entity Sunday with a decision pending on fulfilling a promise to move his country’s embassy to occupied AL-Quds (Jerusalem), a policy change opposed by military officers in his cabinet.
The four-day visit by the far-right leader comes a week before the Israeli’s closely contested election in which the right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is battling a popular centrist candidate and corruption allegations, which he denies.
“I love Israel,” Bolsonaro said in Hebrew at a welcoming ceremony, with Netanyahu at his side, at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion airport.
Netanyahu said he and Bolsonaro would sign “many agreements”, including security deals, and that the Brazilian leader would visit Judaism’s holy Western Wall, “in Jerusalem, our eternal capital.”
A leading Israeli financial news website, Calcalist, reported on Sunday that Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras was considering bidding in a new tender to explore for oil and gas offshore occupied Palestine and a final decision would be announced during Bolsonaro’s visit.
Earlier this month, a Brazilian government official told Reuters no decision had been made on the embassy move, but “something will have to be said about the embassy during the trip”.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that a formal announcement might not come during the visit.
Visiting Brazil for the Jan. 1 presidential inauguration, Netanyahu said Bolsonaro had told him that moving the Brazilian embassy in Israel to occupied Jerusalem from Tel Aviv was a matter of “when, not if”.