Netanyahu Meets With Brazil’s President-Elect Bolsonaro, Hails Alliance

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet next week in Brazil with Israeli PM Netanyahu

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet next week in Brazil with Israeli PM Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro on Friday announced a nascent "brotherhood" between their countries that will boost economic, military and technological cooperation.

But the prime minister's staff said Netanyahu will first go to Rio de Janeiro for a meeting with Bolsonaro then travel to Brasilia for the January 1 inauguration.

Bolsonaro also signaled his intention to pull Brazil from the United Nations' Global Compact for Migration, a move the current Foreign Minister, Aloysio Nunes, said will cause problems for Brazilians living overseas.

Doing so would please his evangelical Christian support base, but would run the risk of provoking commercial retaliation from Arab states, some of which are major importers of Brazilian meat. Moreover, Bolsonaro conferred Brazil's National Order of Merit on Netanyahu.

The tweet said that Brazil stood to benefit from ties to Israel because it was a leader in a number of technologies.

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.

In Brazil and Bolsonara, he said, "We now have a new friend who knows the hardships of history, the sources of our mutual culture and the great challenges that face us in ensuring the future..." "It's hard to believe that we had no such contacts before", he added.

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Netanyahu is then expected to go to a local synagogue for a meeting with Brazilian Jewish leaders.

Netanyahu said that his visit to Brazil "heralds a historic moment". Brazil has traditionally backed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu was making the Brazil trip despite domestic political turmoil in Israel and a spike in military volatility in neighboring Syria.

Both Netanyahu and Bolsonaro admire Trump, and are keen to forge closer relations between their countries.

Almost 20 percent of Brazil's $5 billion beef exports go to 17 Arab countries.

"I am certain that the Secretary and the President-elect will discuss the human rights", the State Department official told reporters.

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