PA requests urgent Arab League meeting over Brazil trade mission
"It’s not something extraordinary. It’s supposed to be a natural and normal thing. We want to move to Jerusalem not just for Brazil, but to set an example for all of Latin America,”
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
The Palestinian Authority has requested an emergency meeting of the Arab League to discuss Brazil’s decision to open a trade office in Jerusalem.PA envoy to Cairo Diab al-Louh said on Tuesday that, acting on instructions from PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Riad Malki, he requested an emergency meeting of the Arab League “to discuss the steps and measures that the Arab states could take in response to Brazil’s illegal decision to open a trade office in Jerusalem.”Louh told the PA news agency Wafa that the purpose of the meeting would be to discuss ways of exerting pressure on Brazil to backtrack on its move and refrain from taking similar measures in the future.Brazil’s decision to open a trade office in Jerusalem, he said, “contradicts international law and disregards the decisions of the Arab League, whose representatives had, more than once, warned Brazil against breaching the legal status of Jerusalem.”The trade mission, a trade office of Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, opened in Jerusalem last week.MP Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, said during the inauguration ceremony that Brazil will move its embassy to Jerusalem in 2020.“As my father says, the commitment still stands,” said Bolsonaro, chairman of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputy’s International Affairs and National Defense Committee. “He will move the [Brazilian] Embassy to Jerusalem. It’s not something extraordinary. It’s supposed to be a natural and normal thing. We want to move to Jerusalem not just for Brazil, but to set an example for all of Latin America.”Earlier this month, the PA Foreign Ministry protested against a visit to Psagot settlement by the son of the Brazilian president. The ministry warned that the visit could affect the good relations between the PA and Brazil.PLO Executive Committee member Tayseer Khaled called on the Arab countries, specifically the Gulf Cooperation Council, to withdraw their investments from Brazil and revise their trade ties with that country. Khaled’s call came in response to the opening of the Brazilian trade mission in Jerusalem, a move he denounced as an “assault on the rights and interests of the Palestinian people and a blatant violation of international law and resolutions.”Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.