Photo Credit: Wiki Commons
Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left Israel for an historic visit to Brazil on Thursday night, where he is to meet with President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, and attend his inauguration.

Netanyahu will also meet with the Brazilian defense, finance and foreign ministers; he is also due to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Chilean President Sebastian Pińera, Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez and other leaders.

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The prime minister is also scheduled to meet with Brazilian Jewish community leaders and participate in community events, which will also be attended by Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Bezerra Crivella.

“We will discuss Israel’s ties with the largest country in Latin America, the fifth most populous country in the world,” Netanyahu said just prior to boarding the plane for departure.

“Brazil is a huge country with huge potential for the State of Israel, economically, diplomatically and vis-à-vis security. It is a great change that [President-elect] Bolsonaro has declared and I am pleased that we can begin a new era between Israel and the major power called Brazil.”

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, is a major economic power with over 200 million people. Trade between Brazil and Israel is currently around $1.12 billion. The Prime Minister’s visit is expected to increase bilateral trade and advance economic relations between the two countries.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.