Israel and Brazil strengthen ties

Brazilian government affirms Yossi Shelley as Israeli ambassador after refusing to affirm Danny Dayan due to Palestinian pressure.

Nitzan Keidar ,

Flash 90

The Brazilian government affirmed Tuesday the appointment of Yossi Shelley to the position of Israeli ambassador to Brazil.

The Foreign Ministry stated that "this [affirmation] and the appointment of a new Israeli ambassador in Brazil represent the beginning of a new epoch in relations between the two nations.

"There is no doubt that this appointment will promote friendship between the two nations as well as strengthening ties in many different fields including economy and trade. Brazil is the seventh biggest economy in the world and is home to an important, pro-Zionist Jewish community," added foreign ministry officials.

During the last year and a half there was no ambassador to Brazil, as the previous Brazilian government did not affirm but also did not reject the appointment of Danny Dayan as Israeli ambassador to the country.

The prime minister's aides had insisted for many months on Dayan's appointment but when they realized that Brazil did not intend to affirm it, due mainly to Palestinian pressure, Dayan was appointed as consul in New York.

At the same time Israel refused to send another diplomatic representative to serve as ambassador for an extended period. Recently it was decided that Shelley, a former head of the Postal Authority, would be appointed as ambassador.