Selin ATAY-TDO- The Arab League condemned Brazil for the recent opening of a trade office in Jerusalem and warned of possible economic consequences if the South American nation takes further steps toward recognizing the holy city as Israel’s capital.

After a meeting in Cairo, the 22 members of the league said in a joint statement that Brazil has committed a “flagrant violation” of international law and a unilateral action that endorses Israeli occupation

Arab countries are willing to take “political, diplomatic and economic measures” if Brazil transfers its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, according to the statement. The league expressed “deep regret” about Brazil’s current foreign policy, which contrasts with previous’ governments more balanced stance on the Middle East.

Ibrahim Alzeben, the Palestinian ambassador to Brazil, said in an interview he considers Brazil “a friend of Palestine and a partner of the Arab World” and hopes the South American nation will hear the Arab League’s statement.

Brazil opened its Jerusalem trade office last week in a ceremony with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil’s foreign affairs ministry cited Bolsonaro’s recent visit to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar as proof that the South American nation continues to have excellent relations with Arab countries. The trade office in Jerusalem won’t harm those ties, it said in a statement.

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