Brazil to move Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, president-elect Bolsonaro announces

Brazilians weigh change versus risk to democracy in election

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem - occupied by Israel since 1967 - might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

Brazil will move their embassy to Jerusalem, the new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wrote on his Facebook page Thursday night.

"When I was asked, during the campaign, if I would do it once you become president, I would say +yes, it is you who decide what is the capital of Israel, not other nations+", -he said to the daily.

The move from Tel Aviv, which will defy Palestinians and most of the world, is the latest controversial announcement by the former army captain, who has wasted no time implementing his hardline conservative agenda since his election win on Sunday.

Mr Moro is a hero to many Brazilians for his unrelenting "Car Wash" investigation, which uncovered the large-scale looting of state oil company Petrobras.

"I am confident that your election will lead to a great friendship between the two peoples, and to the strengthening of ties between Brazil and Israel", Netanyahu told Bolsonaro.

Only the United States and Guatemala now have their embassies in Jerusalem, while other countries have theirs in Tel Aviv.

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Bolsonaro -dubbed "the Brazilian Donald Trump" -has expressed agreement with the USA on several foreign policy issues, criticizing the leftist regime of Venezuela and China's economic power. Upon emerging, Mr Moro did not speak to reporters but soon put out a statement confirming he had accepted an offer to lead both the justice and public security ministries, which will be combined in Mr Bolsonaro's government. Paraguay briefly moved its embassy to Jerusalem as well, only to move it back to Tel Aviv after its new president, Mario Abdo Benitez, was elected.

Bolsonaro, who will assume the office of the Brazilian President from January 1, has often hinted towards his wish for closer ties with Israel, pledging his support for the Middle Eastern nation on the worldwide stage during the interview with Israel Hayom. "Palestine is not a country, so there should be no embassy here".

Angered by Trump's move, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas boycotted his administration, saying Washington is no longer qualified to serve as the sole mediator in the decades-long conflict with Israel, and that an global mechanism should be devised to replace the United States in the so-called peace process.

The United States and Guatemala have already decided similar Jerusalem moves.

"That's net-net-net positive to our existing assets in the marketplace and I think generally net positive for investment flows in the country", Shah said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the plan, which Bolsonaro had promised during the election campaign.

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