Brazil Opens Diplomatic Office in Yerushalayim, to be Part of Embassy

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Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu looks at Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a welcoming ceremony at Ben Gurion airport on Sunday. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

Israel said on Sunday that Brazil had opened a “diplomatic office” in Yerushalayim as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro began a visit to the country.

“Obrigado for opening a diplomatic office in Jerusalem!” acting Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said in a Twitter post that included a photograph of himself shaking hands with his Brazilian counterpart, Ernesto Araújo.

Later in the day, Brazil clarified that the office would serve as part of its embassy to Israel, which is located in Tel Aviv.

“Brazil decided to create an office in Jerusalem to promote trade, investment, technology and innovation as a part of its embassy in Israel,” the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia said in a statement

Also, Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Sunday that Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras will take part in a tender to explore for oil and gas off Israel’s shore.

“It was agreed that Petrobras … will take part in a process of oil and gas exploration in Israel,” Steinitz told Army Radio.

The Palestinians vowed to retaliate. The Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry said it intends to recall its envoy in Brasilia.

“We will be communicating with our ambassador in Brazil in order to recall him for consultations and in order to take the appropriate decisions to confront such a situation,” the PA said in a statement.

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