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Brazilian president postpones state visit over NSA concerns

Sept. 17, 2013 at 3:21 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has postponed a state visit in Washington due to "concerns" over U.S. intelligence gathering in Brazil, the White House said.

Rousseff's state visit -- which had been scheduled for Oct. 23 -- was to have been the first of President Barack Obama's second term.

White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a statement Tuesday saying the two presidents spoke Monday by telephone, a week after they met in St. Petersburg, Russia, during the Group of 20 meetings.

"The United States and Brazil enjoy a strategic partnership rooted in shared democratic values and in the desire to advance broad-based economic growth and job creation," the statement said. "President Obama's invitation to President Rousseff for the first State Visit of his second term is a reflection of the importance he places on this growing global partnership and the close bonds between the American and Brazilian people.

"The President has said that he understands and regrets the concerns disclosures of alleged U.S. intelligence activities have generated in Brazil and made clear that he is committed to working together with President Rousseff and her government in diplomatic channels to move beyond this issue as a source of tension in our bilateral relationship," Carney said.

Obama has ordered a "broad review of U.S. intelligence posture" following disclosure this year of widespread data collection by the National Security Agency.

No new date was announced for the state visit, which Carney said "will celebrate our broad relationship and should not be overshadowed by a single bilateral issue, no matter how important or challenging the issue may be."

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