U.S. President Donald Trump has invited Brazil’s President-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, to the United States, National Security Adviser John Bolton tweeted on Thursday.
The invitation followed a meeting with the right-wing former army captain, who takes office in January.
Bolton described the meeting, which included members of Bolsonaro’s national security team, as “wide-ranging” and “very productive.”
The meeting was attended by Bolsonaro’s future national security adviser General Augusto Heleno and future defence minister General Fernando Azevedo.
They are both retired Army officers. Also at the meeting was incoming foreign minister Ernesto Araujo,
an anti-globalist who believes climate change theory is a Marxist invention.
Bolsonaro is an admirer of the U.S. president and, like Trump, took the political establishment by surprise when he won office in October, riding a wave of anger against traditional politicians.
He has vowed to sweep out corruption, crack down on crime and align Brazil closely with the United States in a shift towards conservative nationalism.
Bolsonaro has threatened to follow Trump’s lead and pull Brazil out of the Paris climate agreement, despite having the world’s biggest rain forest in the Amazon.
On Wednesday, he said he pushed the government to withdraw Brazil’s offer to host the U.N. climate conference next year, maintaining that Brazil’s sovereignty over the Amazon was at stake.
Bolton told reporters on Tuesday in Washington that Bolsonaro’s election was a “historic opportunity” for Brazil and the United States to work together on security, economics and other issues. Thursday’s meeting would prepare the ground for Trump and Bolsonaro to “get off to a running start”, he said.
In another step following Trump, Bolsonaro plans to move the Brazilian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, despite angering Arab countries that are big buyers of Brazilian meat.
After visiting Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner at the White House on Tuesday, his son Eduardo Bolsonaro told reporters the move was “not a question of if, but of when”.
There is speculation Bolsonaro’s team will seek to bring Trump to the presidential inauguration in Brasilia on Jan. 1, 2019.
Trump’s attendance would be a major validation for Bolsonaro, Thiago de Aragao. (Reuters/NAN)