No embassy move announced as Brazil's Bolsonaro hosts Israel's Netanyahu

Netanyahu Could Cut Unprecedented Brazil Visit Over Politics At Home

Netanyahu said Thursday, before heading to South America, that "we will discuss relations between Israel and Brazil, the fifth most populous country in the world".

The much-awaited trip marks the end of an era of strained ties between Brazil and the Jewish state. Later, while visiting a synagogue, the President-elect reiterated the Brazilian desire to form "partnerships and agreements", once again eluding the topic of Jerusalem's recognition.

But there was no mention of Bolsonaro's post-election declaration of the embassy move during Friday's press conference.

Netanyahu, who will be attending Bolsonaro's inauguration next week, is slated to meet with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while in Brazil.

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"We will be starting a hard government from January, but Brazil has potential", Bolsonaro said.

Authorities say their preparations for the inauguration are the most comprehensive ever undertaken.

"What is right between us will be very good for Brazilians and Israelis", he said.

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Bolsonaro and top aides have repeatedly said he would move Brazil's embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but since his election he has come under pressure to ditch the idea from powerful backers in the agricultural sector, who fear the decision would hurt their halal meat sales in Arab countries.

He plans to meet with Bolsonaro, who was elected in October with an agenda and style so similar to President Trump's that he has been dubbed the Trump of the Tropics. He also spoke of cooperation in military and agriculture matters. "You can be certain I will speak with him about that in our first meeting", Netanyahu, speaking Hebrew, told reporters on his flight before it landed in Rio de Janeiro.

A senior State Department official said Pompeo was eager to talk with Bolsonaro about his plans for exerting Brazil's sovereignty in dealing with other nations and with global organizations.

Bolsonaro discussed Israel during a meeting in Rio with Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, late last month.

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The Israeli prime minister also serves as his country's foreign minister.

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