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Cautious Tone Adopted by Opposition and Government on Political Asylum for Edward Snowden

12/18/2013 - 08h57

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FROM BRASILIA

The government and opposition have adopted a cautious tone on political asylum for Edward Snowden.

There is concern over the impact the decision may have on Brazil's relations with the U.S., one it's major trade partners.

"This will bring more damage to Brazil than any benefit of combating these actions of espionage," said the leader of DEM in the House, Representative Ronaldo Caiado (GO).

Senator Alvaro Dias (PSDB-PR) believes the question should be "very well weighted" before the "timid stance" adopted so far by the Government - Dias argues, for example, that there was no concrete response to suspicions of espionage in Petrobras.

Eduardo Braga (PMDB-AM), the government leader in the Senate, challenged: " We don't know how much of the information that this citizen [Snowden] has to give is actually important and necessary to Brazil".

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ricardo Ferraço (PMDB-ES), has already defended the asylum.

In August, Ferraço helped transport Bolivian Senator Roger Pinto, then asylumed at the Brazilian embassy in La Paz, to Brasília.

"Brazil is faced with an opportunity that can't be wasted", said Ferraço, who will meet with Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo today along with the other senators to defend the granting of asylum.

Translated by STEVE HUGHES

Read the article in the original language