The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, is in Israel. This is the first visit by a Brazilian chancellor to that country in ten years.
According to the Ministry’s advisory office, themes of bilateral interest will be examined during the trip, as well as recent developments in the regional peace process.
The new situation in the Middle East follows Mahmoud Abbas’s victory in the Palestinian presidential election in January and the Quadripartite Peace Conference held in Sharm-el-Sheikh in February.
The Brazilian chancellor met with President Moshe Katsav, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the Vice Prime Minister, Shimon Peres, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ehud Olmert, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Silvan Shalom.
A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed during the visit to establish a mechanism of annual political consultations between the two countries’ Foreign Ministries.
Brazil’s relations will Israel have been traditionally characterized by strong ties of friendship and cooperation, and their bilateral trade increased from US$ 505 million in 2003 to US$ 715 million in 2004. Last year Brazil was Israel’s second biggest trade partner in the Americas.