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U.S. seeks to repair relations with Brazil after NSA surveillance fallout

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is engaged in soccer diplomacy, taking in not just Monday's World Cup match but attempting to repair relations with Brazil after a fallout over the NSA surveillance program.
By JC Finley   |   June 17, 2014 at 10:58 AM   |   Comments

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BRASILIA, Brazil, June 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who cheered Team USA onto victory over Ghana at Monday's World Cup match in Rio de Janeiro, is on a mission of soccer diplomacy to repair relations with Brazil.

Biden said Monday that he hopes to "rebuild trust" with the Brazilian government, which was angered by revelations last year that the National Security Agency had eavesdropped on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and her senior staff.

Rousseff, who was indignant by the U.S. actions, has recently expressed a desire to move forward. "I think the conditions have matured," she said in May. "From Brazil's point of view, the relationship with the United States is a strategic one. We're the two largest democracies in the hemisphere."

The two leaders are scheduled to meet Tuesday in Brasilia, where the vice president hopes to discuss a "full range of issues on our bilateral agenda on everything from energy and economics, to science and technology, to regional and global issues," the White House said.

An unnamed senior U.S. administration official, speaking on background about the vice president's trip, remarked:

"... the fact that he is making this trip at this time is a reflection of the importance that the President and the Vice President place on moving the U.S.-Brazil relationship forward. They both see -- both the President and the Vice President see -- a great opportunity to continue building a global partnership between two strong, diverse democracies, and it will be a full agenda when he arrives in Brasilia on Tuesday."
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