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Brazilian opposition leader declares support for Palestine

April 4, 2019 1:30 P.M. (Updated: April 7, 2019 1:14 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Brazil’s opposition leader in the Senate, Randolfe Rodrigues, rejected the visit of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to Israel and said he does not represent the conscience of the Brazilian people, on Wednesday.

Rodrigues’s remarks came during a visit to the Palestinian embassy in Brazil, where he met with Palestinian Authority (PA) ambassador Ibrahim al-Zaben.

Rodrigues pointed out that his visit to the Palestinian embassy is a message of solidarity of the Brazilian people with the Palestinian people, affirming the solidarity of his parliamentary bloc with the Palestinian people.

He claimed that many members of the Senate and House of Representatives, including in the government coalition, are opposed to Bolsonaro's position on the Palestinian cause and close relations with Israel.

Rodrigues told al-Zaben that he considered the positions of Bolsonaro in violation of its historic position supporting the two-state solution in accordance with the international resolutions and stressed the position of the Brazilian opposition in support of the Palestinian cause in the Brazilian parliament and to open a trade and cultural office in East Jerusalem to care for Brazilian interests.

Al- Zaben expressed his appreciation for Rodrigues’s visit and its message of solidarity with the Palestinian people and their leadership. He also praised the historical ties between Palestine and Brazil.

After taking power in January, Bolsonaro promised to follow in the footsteps of US President Donald Trump in relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, he backtracked on the promise and opened a “diplomatic office” instead.

During the opening of Brazil’s “diplomatic office” in Jerusalem, the Brazilian Foreign Minister, Ernesto Araujo, said the move would not come in place of the promised embassy move, but would be “the first step towards an embassy relocation.”

The decision to move the embassy is highly controversial due to the fact that Israel wants claim of Jerusalem City as its capital, while the Palestinians view East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

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