Wednesday Sep 18, 201302:11 AM GMT
Brazil’s president cancels Washington visit over US spy revelations
Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:18PM
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Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has cancelled her state visit to Washington over recent revelations that the United States spied on Brazil.


"The two presidents decided to postpone the state visit since the outcome of this visit should not be conditioned on an issue which for Brazil has not been satisfactorily resolved," Rousseff's office said in a statement on Tuesday.

The announcement came after Rousseff discussed the espionage row with the US President Barack Obama in a telephone call on Monday.

The decision reflected escalating tensions between the two countries, following the publication of documents leaked by whistleblower and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden in July, exposing US spying on Brazilian companies and individuals for a decade.

"The illegal interceptions of communications and data of citizens, companies and members of the Brazilian government represent a serious act which violates national sovereignty and is incompatible with democratic coexistence between friendly countries," the statement noted.

Rousseff was scheduled to visit the White House in late October to meet President Barack Obama and discuss a possible four-billion-dollar jet fighter deal, cooperation on oil and biofuels technology between the two biggest economies in the Americas, as well as other commercial projects. No new date has been announced for the meeting.

Meanwhile in Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney, said "I think it's because the relationship is so important and because it has so many facets that the president agrees with this decision they made together to postpone the visit."

In July, Brazil’s O Globo newspaper said the NSA has been spying on Brazilian companies and individuals for a decade.

The newspaper reported on July 7 that the NSA had collected data on billions of telephone and email conversations in the country.

The report said that information released by Edward Snowden reveals that the number of telephone and email messages logged by the NSA in the 10-year period was near to the 2.3 billion captured in the US during the same period.

Snowden, a former CIA employee, leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about its espionage activities targeting friendly countries.

PG/MHB/AS
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