In addition to meeting with FM Livni, FM Amorim will also meet with President Peres, PM Olmert, Opposition Chairman Netanyahu and author Amos Oz

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Celso Amorim, Foreign Minister of Brazil, will arrive in Israel on Thursday (14 February), on a one-day working visit to Israel. Additional legs of the tour will include Saudi Arabia, Syria, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.

This will be FM Amorim’s second visit to Israel. The Brazilian Foreign Minister will meet with Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni, with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Opposition Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, and author Amos Oz.

Brazil, the most significant country in South America, is determined to assist in the promotion of the peace process in the region. Within this framework, Brazil participated in the Annapolis summit, the Donors Conference in Paris, appointed a special envoy to the Middle East, and proposed to host a meeting of Israeli and Palestinian representatives from the civilian sector.

Brazil is Israel’s largest trade partner in Latin America. The balance of trade between the two countries exceeded a billion dollars in 2007, and it is expected that future trade will vastly surpass this amount thanks to the signing of the Free Trade Agreement between Israel and MERCOSUR, the trade bloc that comprises Brazil, Argentine, Uruguay, and Paraguay in December 2007.

In recent years, several Brazilian officials have visited Israel, among them the Minister of Economics, the Minister for National Integration, the Minister of Education, and the Governors of Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo. Reciprocal visits were made by Ministers of Industry, Trade and Labor Ehud Olmert and Eli Yishai. The Minister of Homeland Security Avi Dichter and Minister Ruhama Avraham are expected to visit Brazil during 2008.