RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil will move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday, making the Latin American giant the largest country after the US to make the controversial switch.
"As previously stated during our campaign, we intend to transfer the Brazilian Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.
"Israel is a sovereign state and we shall duly respect that," Bolsonaro tweeted, a move that will defy Palestinians and most of the world.
In interviews, Bolsonaro said Israel "should have the right to decide where its capital is located," just as Brazil moved its capital from Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia in 1960.
Israel considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, with international consensus being that the status of the whole city must be negotiated between the two sides.
In December, President Donald Trump reversed longstanding US policy and recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, prompting Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas to boycott his administration.
The embassy was officially transferred on May 14. Guatemala and Paraguay followed suit, though the latter announced last month it would return its embassy to Tel Aviv.