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    A giant Israeli flag flies over a settlement building situated in the middle of a Palestinian neighbourhood of Al-Tur in East Jerusalem, on November 11, 2014

    Brazil Opens Jerusalem Office to Serve as 'Part of Its Embassy in Israel'

    © AFP 2019 / THOMAS COEX
    Middle East
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    Earlier, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said it was possible that his country would open a "trade office" in the contested city in the near future.

    Brazil has opened a "diplomatic office" in Jerusalem, Israel's acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz has announced.

    In a tweet on his official twitter page accompanied by a photo of him shaking hands with Brazilian counterpart Ernesto Araujo, Katz thanked Brasilia for the gesture.

    "Bem vindo to Israel @ernestofaraujo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil & President @jairbolsonaro. Obrigado for opening a diplomatic office in Jerusalem! Israel and Brazil are true friends sharing common values and we will strengthen the cooperation between our two countries," he wrote.

    The statement follows remarks by President Bolsonaro, who said last week that Brasilia might open a trade office in Jerusalem.

    The Brazilian Foreign Ministry confirmed later Sunday that its new Jerusalem office would "promote trade, investment, technology and innovation as a part of its embassy in Israel," which is located in Tel Aviv.

    Bolsonaro arrived in Israel on Sunday for a four-day visit. Prior to his election, the politician publicly promised to move the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the Brazilian leader to Israel, saying he and Bolsonaro were destined to "making history together" by opening a "new era in Brazil-Israel relations."

    Jerusalem's status  is internationally disputed, with both Israelis and Palestinian considering the city as their capital, and the holy city's status long seen as a matter to be resolved as part of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by the international community. Last May, the United States broke with consensus reached in the United Nations and relocated its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The move provoked a major backlash from Palestinians, the Arab world and other countries, who marked their opposition to any unilateral moves regarding the holy city's status.

    In December 2017, 128 UN members, including Brazil, signed on to an emergency session resolution declaring the status of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as "null and void," with only the US, Israel and a handful of small states rejecting the resolution and 35 others abstaining.


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    diplomatic office, Israeli Foreign Ministery, Israel Katz, Jair Bolsonaro, Israel, Brazil
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