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August 20, 2014
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rousseff calls off state visit to US over spying

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has called off plans for a state visit to Washington in October because of revelations that the United States spied on her personal communications and those of other Brazilians.

Rousseff's decision, which came despite a 20-minute telephone call from President Barack Obama last night in an attempt to salvage the trip, is a big blow to relations between the two biggest economies in the Americas.

Both the White House and Rousseff's office officially billed the decision as a postponement, and said a state visit could take place at an unspecified later date.

The trip was expected to be a platform for deals on oil exploration and biofuels technology, and Brazil's potential purchase of fighter jets from Chicago-based Boeing Co.

The defense contract worth more than $4 billion that Boeing is seeking for the sale of 36 F-18 fighter jets to the Brazilian Air Force could be the main victim of the spying affair. Brazilian officials have said Brazil cannot buy such strategic aircraft from a country it cannot trust.

The spying revelations sparked a political uproar in Brazil that Rousseff could not ignore. A senior government official told Reuters that Rousseff's top advisers, including her mentor and predecessor as president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, encouraged her to scrap the state visit.

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Tags:  US  Brazil  Rousseff  state visit  Obama  spying  NSA  





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