Pompeo to meet Netanyahu in Brazil after Syria decision

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Moreover, Bolsonaro conferred Brazil's National Order of Merit on Netanyahu. Later, while visiting a synagogue, the President-elect reiterated the Brazilian desire to form "partnerships and agreements", once again eluding the topic of Jerusalem's recognition.

However there was no mention of Bolsonaro's post-election declaration - later walked back - that he meant to follow Trump in moving his country's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Netanyahu arrived in Brazil on Friday, accompanied by his wife Sarah and son Yair, and the family is set to stay on through Tuesday to join other foreign dignitaries at the inauguration in Brasilia of Bolsonaro, a far-right, security-conscious politician and former army officer who was elected in October on pledges to crack down on endemic crime and corruption.

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Recently, President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said his administration will use more rigorous criteria when allowing immigrants to enter Brazil.

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Although Bolsonaro could well make the announcement at a later stage, a senior US State Department official said on Friday the US government expected him to eventually make the move.

Such a move by Bolsonaro would be a sharp shift in Brazilian foreign policy as it was for the United States when President Donald Trump relocated the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in May.

Bolsonaro later Friday attended a Rio synagogue with Netanyahu and told the congregation that Brazil meant to move forward in the world not only with Israel "but with other countries such as the United States that think and have a similar ideology to our own". "We want to be your partners in this effort, we think our cooperation can give both our people tremendous benefits - in the economy, employment, security, agriculture, water, industry, in every domain of human endeavor". But Bolsonaro and Netanyahu have developed an increasingly warm relationship with similar views on security issues.

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. He added that it was "hard to believe" that an Israeli prime minister has not come to Brazil before, "because the brotherhood, the alliance that you mentioned is real, and can carry us to great heights".

"The visit will bring an important political message: a turnaround in Israel's relations with the largest country in Latin America". Bolsonaro announced last week that his future minister of science and technology, Marcos Pontes, will go to Israel in January to visit water desalination plants since Brazil is facing severe water problems in the northeast part of the country.

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