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Arab League Warns Brazil Over Prospective Relocation Of Embassy To Jerusalem

The head of the Arab League sent a letter to Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro warning of serious ramifications if Brasilia relocates its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Candidate Bolsonaro vowed to follow in the footsteps of the United States and Guatemala by moving Brazilia’s mission to the holy city, but has since backtracked amid growing domestic and international consternation. In the missive, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit stressed that the initiative would be considered by Middle Eastern states a violation of international law given that “the situation of Israel is not normal, seeing that it is a country that has been occupying Palestinian territories by force—among them East Jerusalem.” Notably, Brazil is one of the world’s top exporters of halal meat—which is butchered and prepared in accordance with Islamic law—and therefore is susceptible to a possible economic boycott by Arab countries. While Bolsonaro has thus wavered, his son recently met with senior White House officials in Washington and thereafter described the relocation of the Brazilian Embassy to Jerusalem as “not a question of if, but of when.” Ambassadors from Arab nations are expected to travel to Brasilia on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

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