The Arab League condemned on Thursday 20 the opening of a Brazilian trade office in the city of Jerusalem warning that a future move from the Brazilian embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city "will seriously damage Arab-Brazilian relations and interests."
"The Arab League believes that Brazil's decision is unilateral and illegitimate and considers that it supports illegal Israeli occupation policies," the statement said following an emergency meeting in Cairo at the request of Palestine. The Arab League is an organization that brings together 22 member states in the Middle East and North Africa.
The office opened on Saturday 14 and was attended by Federal Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the occasion, the deputy confirmed the intention of the Brazilian government to transfer the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing the city as the country's capital.
Although the Foreign Ministry issued a note saying that the opening of the commercial office in Jerusalem is due to the desire to “prioritize issues of innovation, technology, strategic partnerships” without undermining “the importance and quality” of diplomatic and trade relations. , the Arab League said the change in Brasilia policy "would seriously damage Arab-Brazilian relations and interests."
The League is an organization of Arab States founded in 1945 to strengthen and coordinate economic, social, political and cultural ties among its members. It currently has 22 Member States, including Palestine.
The opening of a business office of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex) was announced during Jair Bolsonaro's visit to Israel in April. The initiative was defined by the president as the first step towards the embassy transfer.
Statements about the embassy in Jerusalem caused controversy at the beginning of Bolsonaro's presidential term. Diplomatic representation was not transferred to Jerusalem only because of pressure from agribusiness sectors who, fearing reprisals from the Arab countries, managed to postpone the president's decision.
The Jerusalem issue is a key piece in the conflicts between the Israeli government and the Arab world. Israel occupied the eastern part of the city after the Six Day War in 1967. The movement was not recognized by the international community as legitimate.
Embassies from all countries settled in Tel Aviv so as not to interfere with the conflict. But in 2018, US President Donald Trump decided to make the change in diplomatic representation. The only country to follow him was Guatemala.