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Dilma Cancels U.S. State Visit in Response to a 'Lack in Investigation' in Spying Case

09/18/2013 - 08h55

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TAI NALON
FROM BRASILIA

President Dilma Rousseff decided on Tuesday (17) to cancel her trip to Washington, next month, in what was going to be the first state visit from a Brazilian president in nearly two decades.

In a statement, she claimed that "considering the proximity of the scheduled state visit to Washington - and in the absence of a timely investigation of the incident, with the corresponding explanations and commitment to cease the interception activities - the conditions needed to make the state visit on the date previously set are not met."

The decision was made even after U.S. president, Barack Obama, call with Ms. Rousseff on Monday, in an attempt to avoid the cancelation of the Brazilian state visit.

In statements issued on Tuesday, however, both the Presidential Palace and the White House said the decision was made by mutual agreement.

The president decided not to go to Washington after allegations that both Petrobras and herself were the target of spying by the National Security Agency (NSA), according to reports on the Globo news magazine show "Fantastico", this month.

Jewel Samad - 6.set.13/AFP
US President Barack Obama greets Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff as he arrives for the family photo at the G20 summit on September 6, 2013 in Saint Petersburg.
US President Barack Obama greets Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff as he arrives for the family photo at the G20 summit on September 6, 2013 in Saint Petersburg.

The decision to cancel the visit was anticipated by Folha on Saturday (14). The idea supported by President aids is that the espionage would influence most of the conversation, which is not in Brazil's best interests.

The revelations came from secret documents obtained by journalist Glenn Greenwald from Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor, exiled in Russia. The papers show that communication between Ms. Rousseff and her advisors was monitored by the U.S. agency.

In the president evaluation, the U.S. did not apologize or gave a convincing explanation about spying in Brazil. And the country has somehow implied that it will keep the practice continuing to monitor Brazil.

WHITE HOUSE

Also in a statement, the White House said the visit was "postponed".
President Obama committed to find a diplomatic solution with Ms. Rousseff to resolve the discomfort in the bilateral relationship. The document states that the case is being studied, "but the process can take months to be completed."

According to the note from the White House, the American president hopes to reschedule the meeting stating there are other issues of interest such as cooperation mechanisms, dialogues on political, economic, energy and defense issues that will continue to be debated.

*

Read the full statement from Presidency of Brazil:

President Dilma Rousseff received yesterday, September 16, a phone call from President Barack Obama, following up on a meeting held in St. Petersburg on G-20 and on the contact between the Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado and the National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

The Brazilian Government understands the importance and diversity of the bilateral relationship, based on respect and mutual trust. We have worked together to promote economic growth and foster job creation and income. Our relationship includes cooperation in areas as diverse as science and technology, education, energy, trade and finance, involving government, business and citizens of both countries.

Illegal interception practices of communication and data from citizens, businesses and members of the Brazilian government are indeed a serious threat to the national sovereignty and individual rights, and incompatible with the democratic coexistence between friendly states.

Considering the proximity of the scheduled state visit to Washington - and in the absence of a timely investigation of the incident, with the corresponding explanations and commitment to cease the interception activities - the conditions needed to make the state visit on the date previously set are not met.

Pete Souza/White House/Reuters
U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama

This way, the two presidents decided to postpone the state visit, because the results of this visit should not be conditioned to a topic which satisfactory solution to Brazil is yet to be reached.

The Brazilian government is confident that, once the issue is properly settled, the state visit will take place as soon as possible, to move forward the construction of our strategic partnership to even higher levels.

Translated by SIMONE PALMA

Read the article in the original language

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