Brazil's leftist parties to boycott Bolsonaro's inauguration - 12/28/2018 2:33:55 PM

Netanyahu Could Cut Unprecedented Brazil Visit Over Politics At Home

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left center, is received by Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro at the military base Fort Copacabana, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Dec. 28, 2018.

Netanyahu left for Brazil earlier on Thursday, where he will attend Bolsonaro's inauguration, and will also meet with him and with the country's defense and foreign ministers.

The Trump administration sees a strong ally in Bolsonaro, who is following the lead of the United States in moving Brazil's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and has been critical of global efforts to fight climate change. An embassy transfer could put at risk lucrative Brazilian poultry and halal meat exports to Arab countries. Bolsonaro said that "we are opening a new era in ties, and making history".

Netanyahu made his Brazil trip despite domestic political turmoil in Israel and a spike in military volatility in neighboring Syria.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is going to discuss human rights in Cuba and Venezuela during his meeting with President-elect of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, a State Department official said in a telephone press conference on Friday.

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He said Brazil was interested in technological services that Israel is a world leader in, likely referring to agritech and cyber security. "It's hard to believe that we had no such contacts before", he added.

"We will be starting a hard government from January, but Brazil has potential", Bolsonaro said. He also spoke of cooperation in military and agriculture matters. He also is scheduled to meet Evangelical Christian leaders on Sunday, when he will fly to Brasilia or to Tel Aviv, depending on whether the visit is shortened.

Both Netanyahu and Bolsonaro admire Trump, and are keen to forge closer relations between their countries. The State Department said Thursday that Pompeo plans to meet with Netanyahu in Brasilia in what would be their first meeting since Trump announced that the USA would withdraw its military presence from Syria.

Netanyahu said that Bolsonaro - the latest in a list of right wing leaders who have catapulted to leadership positions around the world - will be welcomed in Israel as a "great friend, as a great ally, as a brother".

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