Arab League WARNS Bolsonaro: Change of Embassy in Israel Could Hurt Relations

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BRASILIA, Brazil – The ambassadors of the Arab League in Brazil will meet on Tuesday in Brasília to discuss the Bolsonaro government’s intention to transfer the embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

According to an unidentified Arab diplomat, quoted by the Reuters news agency, the secretary general of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, sent a letter to the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs warning that the transfer of the embassy to Jerusalem could damage relations with the Arab countries.

“The Arab world has much respect for Brazil and we want not just to maintain relations but improve and diversify them. But the intention of moving the embassy to Jerusalem could harm them,” the diplomat said.

According to the letter sent by the secretary general of the Arab League, transferring the Brazilian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be a violation of international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, the federal deputy and son of President-elect Eduardo Bolsonaro, recently declared on a trip to the United States that the question of the transfer of the Brazilian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is already decided, leaving only a definition of the date when this will occur.

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The letter to Bolsonaro from the league’s Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit and delivered to Brazil’s foreign ministry said the decision on where to locate an embassy was the sovereign decision of any country.

“However, the situation of Israel is not normal, seeing that it is a country that has been occupying Palestinian territories by force – among them East Jerusalem,” the letter said.

Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would be considered a violation of international law and the United National Security Council resolutions, Aboul Gheit said.

Brazil is one of the world’s top halal meat exporters and that trade could run into trouble if Bolsonaro angers Arab nations by moving the embassy. That could hurt exports to key Middle Eastern markets for Brazilian beef and poultry producers BRF SA (BRFS3.SA) and JBS SA (JBSS3.SA).

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