Israel PM Netanyahu Meets with Brazilian President-elect Bolsonaro

Attached photo credit: Avi Ohayon (GPO)

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, yesterday afternoon (Friday, 28 December 2018; Brazil time), at Fort Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, met with Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

The two held a private meeting and then an expanded one in which Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernest Araujo, Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva, Finance Minister Paulo Guedes and Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro – the President-elect's son -- also participated.

Prime Minister Netanyahu invited President-elect Bolsonaro to visit Israel; the President-elect accepted. They agreed to tighten – inter alia – economic, security, water management, agricultural and technological cooperation.

Following the meeting, President-elect Bolsonaro awarded Prime Minister Netanyahu Brazil's highest and most important national award for high-ranking guests, which is awarded to prominent and influential people and was previously granted to former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Queen Elizabeth II.

Following is an excerpt from Prime Minister Netanyahu's remarks at the joint statements following the meeting:


I thank you for this very, very kind reception that heralds a historic moment.

It’s the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to Brazil ever. It’s hard to believe that we had no such contact before. Because the brotherhood, the alliance that you mentioned is real and can carry us to great heights. Israel is the Promised Land; Brazil is the land of promise. And you’ve been given the stewardship of this country to realize that promise.

We want to be your partners in this effort. We think our cooperation can give both our peoples tremendous benefits in the economy, in employment, in security, in agriculture, in water, in industry, in every domain of human endeavor. So as the first step of realizing this I have invited President Bolsonaro to come to Israel and he has accepted, and you will be welcomed as a great friend, as a great ally, as a brother.

[End English; following is translated from Hebrew]

This is an historic visit, the first time that a Prime Minister of Israel has visited Brazil. Today we are forging a great alliance with a huge power of almost 250 million people, which is turning a new page with us, with cooperation that will help the citizens of both countries in employment, their economies, technology, security and Israel's international position. I think that this is an additional expression of Israel as a rising global power.

But this is also a sad day. We bid farewell to one of our literary giants, Amos Oz. We will always remember his contribution to Hebrew literature and the Hebrew language."