Dec 11, 2018 08:27 UTC
  • Brazil's decision to move embassy to al-Quds could harm ties: Arab League

The Arab League has slammed a plan by Brazil’s far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro to transfer his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Israeli-occupied al-Quds, warning that the possible move could harm bilateral relations.

In a letter to Brazil’s Foreign Ministry seen by Reuters on Monday, Arab League’s Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Bolsonaro, who is set to be sworn in on January 1, should reconsider his campaign promise or risk downgrade in ties.

Aboul Gheit said the decision on where to locate an embassy was the sovereign decision of any country, but “the situation of Israel is not normal” as it has been “occupying Palestinian territories by force - among them East Jerusalem [al-Quds].”

Relocating the embassy to al-Quds would be considered a violation of international law and the United National Security Council resolutions, Aboul Gheit wrote.

He further urged Bolsonaro to “take into consideration the Arab point of view as a way to preserve our long-standing friendship.”

An unnamed diplomat told Reuters that ambassadors from the Arab League’s 22 member states are expected to meet in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, on Tuesday to discuss the embassy move.

Shortly after he was elected in late October, Bolsonaro announced he intended to uphold his campaign promise and move the Latin American country’s embassy to al-Quds to follow in the footsteps of the US and Guatemala.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly welcomed the plan and issued a statement in praise of the decision.

The decision has drawn strong condemnation from the Palestinians and the Arab world.

The Palestinian Authority official has blasted the plan as “provocative and illegal” and the Hamas resistance movement has described it as “hostile.”