Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Arrives in Israel for Historic Visit

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Photo by Haim Zach/GPO on 31 March, 2019

 By Aryeh Savir/TPS • 31 March, 2019

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday arrived in Israel for a historic four-day visit, his first overseas trip as president.

He was received by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at Ben-Gurion International Airport, after Netanyahu visited Brazil three months ago. Bolsonaro is accompanied by a delegation of ministers, Members of Parliament and business people, the largest official Brazilian delegation to visit the Jewish State.

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The two countries are expected to sign several agreements on security, aviation, homeland security, science and technology, as well as Memorandum of Understandings on cyber, health and water.

Netanyahu stated at the reception that he was “impressed” by Bolsonaro’s “strong desire to strengthen ties between Israel and Brazil.”

“My friend Mr. President, we are making history together,” the Israeli premier declared. “When you took up office last January, we opened a new era in Brazil-Israel relations. I was at the moving ceremony in which you were sworn in as president and here, after a mere three months, on your first visit outside South America, you have come to Israel in order to bring relations between us to a new height.”

Netanyahu underscored that “Brazil is a huge country with huge potential. I believe that under your leadership, this potential will be realized, not just for Brazil, but also for Israel-Brazil relations in trade, investments, technology, agriculture, energy, tourism, in every field.”

Netanyahu will hold a private meeting with Bolsonaro later in the day and will subsequently hold an expanded meeting with ministers from both countries.

The two leaders on Monday will visit the Western Wall, and on Tuesday will participate in the “Israel-Brazil Innovation Summit,” an economic event between businesspeople and leading companies in Israel and Brazil. The leaders will then visit an innovation exhibition.

Bolsonaro stated during his campaign that he will relocate the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem. However, after facing threats of boycotts by Muslim countries if he makes the move, Brazil is expected to announce that it is boosting its diplomatic presence in the city with an office that handles trade and economy.

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