World, Americas

Brazil hails controversial Gulf deals with Israel

Brazil has policy to pursue closer relations with Israel, Arab countries, says president

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 22.09.2020
Brazil hails controversial Gulf deals with Israel

ANKARA

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro characterized as “excellent news” Tuesday the normalization of ties between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.

"The peace agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and between Israel and Bahrain – three friends of Brazil with which our government has greatly strengthened relations – are excellent news," Bolsonaro said during an address to the UN General Assembly's 75th session.

Praising US President Donald Trump's Plan for Peace and Prosperity which Bolsonaro calls "a promising vision to resume the path towards a much-desired solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," he said Brazil has the policy to pursue closer relations with Israel and the Arab countries that is "very much in line" with US initiatives.

The UAE and Bahrain signed US-sponsored controversial agreements Sept. 15 to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, amid strong condemnations from the Palestinians.

Taking a turn to the coronavirus in the South American nation which has the third-highest case count globally with more than 4.5 million infections and the second-highest death toll with greater than 137,000, Bolsonaro said his administration took needed restrictions to stem the spread of the virus and he blamed governors and the media for mismanagement of the virus in the country.

"As determined by court ruling in Brazil, all measures involving social distancing and restrictions of movement were delegated to each of the 27 Governors in the Federation," he said. "The President, in turn, was assigned the responsibility for sending out resources nationwide."

Accusing local media of "politicizing the virus by spreading panic,",he said, "Under the mottoes 'stay at home' and 'we will deal with the economy later on', they almost brought about social chaos to the country."

Brazil approaches accession to OECD

Bolsonaro said his country is approaching the official process for accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) economic group.

"To that end, we have already put in place the world's highest standards in all areas, to include financial regulation, digital security and environmental protection," he said.

The US has been promoting its "major non-NATO ally" Brazil to get OECD membership, while Brazil follows Washington's footsteps on foreign policy since Bolsonaro took the office in January 2019.

He added that Brazil remains committed to completing trade deals signed between Mercosur, the European Union and the European Free Trade Association.

Brazil is 'victim' of disinformation campaign on Amazon

Bolsonaro claimed there is a "brutal disinformation campaign" against Brazil about the Amazon and the Brazilian wetlands.

"The Brazilian Amazon is known to be immensely rich. That explains the support given by international institutions to this disinformation campaign anchored on shady interests coupled with exploitative and unpatriotic Brazilian associations with the purpose of undermining the Government and Brazil itself," he said.

He claimed that Brazil is a leader when it comes to the conservation of tropical rainforests. "We have the world’s cleanest and most diversified energy mix. Even as one of the world’s 10 largest economies, we account for only 3% of carbon emissions worldwide," he said.

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