Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Brazil President cancels US state visit over spying

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has called off her state visit to US in the aftermath of the revelations that the America spied on her.

Statements issued by both the countries billed the decision as a postponement.

The visit had been scheduled for October 23 but was called into question after documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, revealed the extent of American spying on its Brazilian ally.

The announcement in this regard came after Mr. Obama spoke with Ms. Rousseff on Monday night.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney urged Brazil to move beyond this issue. Mr. Obama, he said, understands the Brazilian concerns in this regard.

"He understands the concerns that have been raised. He regrets that those concerns have caused the tension that exists in the relationship. And that's why he believes we ought to have these discussions and then move on," Mr. Carney said at a news conference on Monday.

"Illegal surveillance practices intercepting the communication and data of citizens, companies and members of the Brazilian government constitute a serious affront to national sovereignty and individual rights, and are incompatible with democratic cooperation between friendly nations," the Brazilian government said in a statement.

"This one issue is a matter of intense focus, especially in the Brazilian media and obviously a concern for the Brazilian government. And we are working with the Brazilian government to discuss those concerns. And we'll continue to do that.

But the Presidents felt, and certainly President Obama felt, that it was the right choice to postpone the visit," Mr. Carney explained.
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