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Netanyahu Expected to Visit Brazil in June, as Ties Continue to Warm

Following an invitation from Brazilian Foreign Minister Aloysio Nunes, who arrived in Israel this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has conditionally accepted an invitation to visit Brazil in June, The Jerusalem Post reported [1] Wednesday.

According to Israel’s Ambassador to Brasilia Yossi Shelley, Netanyahu accepted the invitation on condition that the two nations successfully upgraded their trade agreement currently being negotiated. The negotiations are expected to be completed by June.

Netanyahu’s trip to Latin America this past September was the first [2] by a sitting Israeli prime minister and, according to the Post, he has been talking about visiting the South American nation for months.

Israel’s ties with Brazil have improved since President Michel Temer took office in August 2016, replacing his predecessor Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached and removed from office. Both Rousseff, and President  Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, who preceded her were less friendly towards Israel.

Brazil is scheduled to have presidential election in October, and, according to Shelley, all major candidate are believed to be as favorably disposed towards Israel as Temer, so ties are expected to remain warm.

Netanyahu and Nunes discussed [3] the growing ties between Israel and Brazil in the areas of “security, education, culture and academia.”

Nunes also met [4] with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and said, “My visit is to reaffirm our friendship and cooperation in a range of issues. We could be doing so much more.” He also hailed the participation of many Israeli companies in Brazils economy. Noting that he had previously visited Israel, Nunes also praised Israel’s development of advanced agricultural techniques.

[Photo: Federação Israelita SP / YouTube ]