Bolsonaro: We can still move the embassy

Brazilian President says relocation of embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is still possible.

Elad Benari ,

Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday discussed the issue of relocating his country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“We can still move the embassy to Jerusalem. We are examining how,” he said, according to reports in Israeli media.

Bolsonaro’s comments come ahead of an official visit to Israel at the start of next week. It appears as though he will not be announcing the embassy relocation during the visit.

Bolsonaro announced after his election that he intended to uphold his campaign promise and move the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem.

While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu hailed Bolsonaro's announcement, Arab leaders have condemned the move and have pressured him not to go through with it.

The Arab League recently warned Bolsonaro that moving his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would be a setback for relations with Arab countries.

Bolsonaro’s announcement has raised fears the shift could endanger Brazil's valuable meat exports to Arab markets.

The country’s foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, told reporters last week the government was "still studying" the plan.

"The issue of Jerusalem is very important, it is part of the essence of what this new relationship with Israel may mean, we are still studying the way that (decision) will be taken," Araujo said.

The shift must be in line with "other policies in the region to make it clear that, if it were the case, it would be a positive movement, as part of Brazil's contribution to peace and stability," he added.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority (PA) envoy to Brazil, Ibrahim Alzeben, said that moving that country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would be an "attack" on Palestinian people and a breach of international law.