Netanyahu and his wife were greeted at the airport Friday by the incoming president's son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, and Rio Mayor Marcelo Bezerra Crivella.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened the first visit to Brazil by a leader of Israel on Friday, saying he hopes for a strong partnership between the two countries. Notably, the embassy move was not discussed during the first meeting of the two leaders, despite Netanyahu's plans to raise this issue during their talks.
Netanyahu announced his trip to Brazil following a November 1 tweet from Bolsonaro indicating he intends to move the Brazilian Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Brazilian newspaper O Globo had reported Wednesday that Netanyahu made a decision to shorten his week long visit to just two days after his coalition announced the dissolution of the Knesset and moved up elections to April 9.
The Secretary of Public Security in Brasilia told the Associated Press that they are expecting as many as 500,000 people to attend the ceremony.
Brazil's largest left-leaning opposition parties said Friday they will boycott the inauguration of far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro on January 1.
Bolsonaro has indicated he will adopt positions similar to those of President Donald Trump. He said that for his country to overcome obstacles, "we need good allies, good friends, good brothers, like Benjamin Netanyahu". "We want to be your partners in this effort, we think our cooperation can give both our people tremendous benefits - in the economy, employment, security, agriculture, water, industry, in every domain of human endeavor".
Bolsonaro said Tuesday he is looking to import Israeli technology to produce water for Brazil's parched northeast. Brazil has traditionally backed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Describing his visit to Brazil as "historic", Netanyahu spoke of a "brotherhood" with the potential to "carry us to great heights", reports Efe.
"The visit will bring an important political message: a turnaround in Israel's relations with the largest country in Latin America". Brazil-Israel trade now amounts to $1.2 billion.