Brazil's Bolsonaro to visit US, Chile, Israel

Brasília (AFP) –


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will pay his first official visits to the United States, Chile and Israel this month, in a clear sign of the alliances the far-right leader wants to shore up, official sources said Friday.

The former Army captain, who took office on January 1, will be in the United States on March 18-22 and in Chile on March 23, said Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo, quoted by state-owned Agencia Brasil.

At the end of March, Bolsonaro will travel to Israel, Araujo added. The Israeli foreign ministry said Wednesday that the Brazilian leader would be in that country from March 31 to April 4.

These will be Bolsonaro's first official visits as president. In January, he went to Switzerland to participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Recent Brazilian presidents traditionally have made their first trips to neighboring Argentina.

But Bolsonaro's itinerary represents the political and economic shifts he highlighted during his successful election campaign.

Bolsonaro, like US President Donald Trump, largely rejects multilateralism, and both want to oust embattled Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro, and see opposition leader Juan Guaido in his place.

In Chile, seen by Brazil's new economy minister Paulo Guedes as an economic success story, Bolsonaro will take part in the launch of the Prosur forum, which aims to promote development projects in South America.

In Israel, Bolsonaro will repay the visit made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Brazil for his inauguration.