Jair Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former Army captain and admirer of both Brazil's 1964 to 1985 military dictatorship and U.S. President Donald Trump, has quickly deepened ties with the Unites States and Israel.
Bolsonaro's national security adviser, retired Army General Augusto Heleno, confirmed earlier on Thursday that the president wants to move Brazil's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, but that logistical considerations were standing in the way.
Heleno did not elaborate. But the country's powerful agriculture sector is opposed to moving the embassy from Tel Aviv and angering Arab nations that buy billions of dollars worth of Brazilian halal or "permissible" meat each year.
Benjamin Netanyahu became the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit Brazil this week when he attended Bolsonaro's inauguration. After a private meeting, Netanyahu said that Bolsonaro told him that moving the embassy was a matter of "when, not if."
Heleno said on Thursday, "there is a clear desire that this happens, but there has been no decision on a date."
He said he did not think exports would be threatened, arguing that Brazilian diplomats would work with Middle Eastern trading partners to ease concerns.
Bolsonaro and some state governors in Brazil are looking to purchase drones and lean on the United States and Israel for other technology and know-how as they seek to dismantle powerful and heavily armed drug cartels.