Brazil and the U.S. will work together on economic and energy issues as well as on resolving differences over U.S. surveillance programs, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said after meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
“There’s great potential for strengthening our relationship, and that was reflected in our conversation today,” Biden said in Brasilia. “The sky is literally the limit of what we can accomplish together.”
Biden’s meetings with Rousseff and Brazil vice president Michel Temer is step toward mending relations between the two countries since allegations the U.S. National Security Agency was spying on world leaders and Brazilian companies. Rousseff canceled a state visit in September, saying the conditions weren’t right for her to meet with President Barack Obama.
Brazil and the U.S. are like an engaged couple that must get to know each other before they commit to a marriage, Rousseff told a group of foreign correspondents this month. She said it’s important to resume the relationship with the U.S. through a state visit once there are assurances the alleged spying won’t happen again.
Biden said he and Rousseff had a “candid” conversation about the U.S. surveillance programs. “I know it matters to a lot of people here,” he said.
Obama announced changes to NSA surveillance programs in January to extend privacy rights granted under the U.S. Constitution to “the people of the world,” Biden said. Brazil and the U.S. have a “common interest to protect and secure the Internet,” he said, as a tool of the people, not of government repression.
Biden and Rousseff discussed calling on the Vatican to help find a solution to move talks forward in Venezuela, he said in his statement. He said Rousseff and the U.S. government recognize the need to work toward an inclusive security solution in Iraq.
Rousseff has also met with leaders of Chile, Germany and Angola since the World Cup started last week, and she will host a summit for the so-called BRICS after the final game.
Biden was in Natal yesterday for the U.S. soccer team’s first appearance in the World Cup, a 2-1 victory against Ghana. He will visit Colombia, Dominican Republic and Guatemala on this trip.
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