Brazil's Bolsonaro to Visit U.S. Next Month, Says Foreign Minister


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will visit the United States in March, the country's foreign minister announced Thursday -- hailing the prospect of "very different, much deeper" ties between the two countries.

"We're almost settled on a date at the beginning of the second half of March. It should be announced officially very soon," Ernesto Araujo told a press conference in Washington.

He added from the Brazilians' point of view, the visit "should entail a new vision of Brazil-US partnership in a very different, much deeper level."

Far-right Bolsonaro and US President Donald Trump both favor regime change in Venezuela, and are harsh critics of the Cuban and Nicaraguan governments. 

On Thursday, Araujo said that Brazil agrees with the US that Cuba is "big part of the problem" in Venezuela, playing an "an unfortunate role in keeping (President Nicolas) Maduro's dictatorship in power."

The pair also agree on climate change and China.

Bolsonaro, who entered office last month, vowed to forge close ties with Washington after over a decade of leftist rule in Brazil.

"I am an admirer of President Trump. He wants a great United States; I want a great Brazil," he told his first press conference after winning the first round of Brazil's presidential election last October.

After his inauguration address, Trump tweeted congratulating his "great" speech -- adding "the U.S.A. is with you!"

But whether Brazil will -- as Bolsonaro promised last month -- follow in Trump's footsteps and move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem remains under consideration, Araujo said Thursday.

"If we do take that decision we want it to be perceived of course positive for Brazil-Israel relations, but also positive and definitely not negative for our relations with Israel's neighbors, with the Arab World, with the Muslim world as a whole," he said.