A series of cables released today reveal that U.S. diplomats were alarmed by Brazil's forays into Mideast diplomacy, long before last year's unsuccessful nuclear deal with Iran and therecognition of the Palestinian state.
A March 2005 cable concerns a visit that former Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim made to the Middle East in preparation for that year's Arab-South American summit. Amorim snubbed an invitation by the Israeli government to pay a visit, instead spending 24 hours in the Palestinian territories. The U.S. Embassy in Brasilia writes:
The [Brazilian Foreign Ministry], we believe, underestimated the sensitivities aroused by its somewhat ham-handed diplomacy, yet are unwilling to acknowledge that the Summit and Amorim's ill-conceivd visit to the region could undermine the Middle East peace process at a delicate and promising moment.
A December 2008 cable expresses concern over former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's strong criticism of the Israeli invasion of Gaza:
Brazil's initial reaction might have given reason for hope for a more balanced approach to Middle East peace issues if it had not been followed up by the usual one-sided posture of laying most of the blame at Israel and taking potshots at the U.S. for not doing more to stop Israel. The clich-laden bromides of Brazilian officials are also indicative of a lack of real understanding of the Middle East that is troubling in a government that proposes to become involved.