Israel's prime minister says he remains firmly behind his candidate to be the new ambassador to Brazil — despite Brazil's apparent objections over his connections to the Jewish settler movement.

Netanyahu nominated Dani Dayan to be his envoy to Brazil last August.

But the Brazilian government has still not responded, in what is believed to be its opposition to the nominee's prominent role in the West Bank settlement movement. Dayan is a former chairman of Yesha, the council that represents West Bank settlers.

In a meeting with foreign journalists Thursday, Netanyahu said he objected to "labeling people."

The Israeli leader said of Dayan: "He's a great candidate. He is my candidate."

The international community considers the settlements, built on lands claimed by the Palestinians, illegal or illegitimate.