By Hakan Copur
WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S. has raised Brazil's status to "major non-NATO ally", President Trump announced in a brief memorandum.
The designation came on Wednesday, months after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's visit to Washington this March, where the prospect had initially been raised.
The new status gives Brazil preferential access to American weaponry and military training for which other nations outside the NATO alliance are not eligible.
Under the Trump administration, the same status has only been given to Brazil and Saudi Arabia so far, while a total of 19 nations, including Israel, Japan, Australia and Egypt, are among the major non-NATO allies.
The U.S. and Brazil are also working on a trade deal and considering the appointment of Bolsonaro's son Eduardo Bolsonaro as new Brazilian ambassador to Washington.
President Bolsonaro is known for his pro-U.S. policies and has a military background. He won last year’s presidential elections on the back of his get-tough rhetoric on corruption and crime. He has also supported the opposition in neighboring Venezuela, in sync with U.S. policy.
*Writing and contribution by Beyza Binnur Donmez from Ankara