Brazil approves new ambassador after diplomatic row

Brazil said it would accept Israel’s choice for ambassador to the country, ending a diplomatic standoff between the two nations.

The announcement of Yossi Sheli had been expected since Brazil’s centrist president, Michel Temer, was sworn in amid the impeachment process of leftist Dilma Rousseff, whose Worker’s Party had an openly anti-Israel platform.

“There is no doubt that this appointment will promote friendship between the two countries and further relations across many spheres, including economy and trade,” read a statement from Israel’s Foreign Ministry. “Brazil is the seventh largest economy in the world and the home of an important and Zionist Jewish community.”

The Israeli ambassador slot has been vacant since December 2015, when Reda Mansour left the post, citing family-related reasons. Brasilia took several months to rebuff ex-settler leader Dani Dayan as the choice to succeed Mansour. Dayan was later named consul general in New York.

The Brazilian Israelite Confederation, the country’s umbrella Jewish institution, welcomed Sheli as a solution to the long void at the helm of the Israeli Embassy in Brasilia. (JTA)

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