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Brazil's Bolsonaro hesitates over proposed Jerusalem embassy move

AFP  |  Braslia 

Brazil's president-elect has suggested that he was prepared to make a swift u-turn over controversial plans to move the country's embassy from to

Last week, reiterated a campaign pledge to follow the lead of US by switching the embassy from Israel's economic and technological hub to its capital.

But on Tuesday, he reeled in his plans claiming "it hasn't yet been decided." The far-right was responding to a question from reporters about postponing a scheduled visit from Brazil's

"From what I know, it's due to a calendar problem," said during his first visit to the capital since winning the October 28 election runoff against leftist opponent

He is due to take office on January 1.

"It would be premature for a country to take retaliatory measures against something that hasn't yet been decided."

Bolsonaro's announcement of the embassy move on Thursday provoked ire in the Arab world, with a senior Palestinian branding the move "provocative and illegal," while a for Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, called it "hostile."

Bolsonaro tried to downplay the importance of his own plans, claiming "it's not a question of honor" but that "those who decide where the capital of is, are the people, the state of "

Such a move could prove risky for Brazil, though, as it is a major exporter of hallal meat to the Arab world.

Jerusalem's status is hotly disputed. Israel occupied the eastern portion of the city, then under Jordanian control, at the end of the Six-Day War in 1967, which pitted it against Egypt, and

It later annexed that part of the city in the reunification of Jerusalem, a move that has not been internationally recognized.

An resolution from 1947 still proposes the creation of an international regime to run the city, while later ideas have suggested it should be a shared capital for both Israelis and Palestinians.

After move announcement in December, and followed suit, although the latter then changed its mind.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 07 2018. 05:00 IST