Brazil State Visit to Washington Postponed


September 17, 2013


By Adam Frankel

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff formally announced her decision today to postpone a state visit to Washington that was scheduled for October 23, citing allegations that the U.S.  National Security Agency (NSA) had spied on the Brazilian government and the Brazilian national oil company, Petrobrás.

In an official statement, Rousseff praised the “diversity and importance of the bilateral relationship” between the U.S. and Brazil, while also criticizing “illegal practices” that are “incompatible with the democratic relationship” between the two countries.

The U.S. also issued an official statement, praising the countries’ “strategic partnership rooted in shared democratic values and in the desire to advance broad-based economic growth and job creation.” The statement noted that U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a “broad review of U.S. intelligence posture” in response to Rousseff’s request for a thorough explanation of the NSA’s surveillance programs.

Both statements reiterated that the countries hope to promptly reschedule Rousseff’s visit to a mutually agreed-upon date and expect that all other aspects of the bilateral relationship will continue.

The announcement follows multiple U.S. attempts to avoid a postponement or cancellation of the visit, including a meeting last week between Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado and U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice in Washington, as well as a phone call yesterday evening between Rousseff and Obama.

Rousseff still plans to address the UN General Assembly in New York next week, where she told reporters yesterday that she will voice concerns over “Internet neutrality” and digital privacy issues.

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