Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said her state visit to the U.S. next month is still pending even as U.S. President Barack Obama worked to ensure that spying allegations won’t harm the countries’ mutual interests.
Rousseff’s visit will hinge on political conditions, she told reporters today in Saint Petersburg, after her meeting with Obama. The U.S. president took personal responsibility for investigating the spying charges and offered to implement measures that Brazil considers acceptable, Rousseff said.
The U.S. takes spying charges seriously, Obama told reporters during a separate press conference in Saint Petersburg today, adding that maintaining positive relations will be beneficial for the populations of both countries.
“Just because there are tensions doesn’t mean they override the incredibly wide-ranging interests we share,” Obama said. “There’s a reason why I went to Brazil and there’s a reason why I invited President Rousseff to come to Washington. Brazil is an incredibly important country.”
Earlier this month, American journalist Glenn Greenwald presented accusations that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted phone calls and e-mails from Rousseff and a group of top aides. Brazilian officials denounced the case as a violation of their country’s sovereignty. The government later canceled a trip to prepare for Rousseff’s visit to the U.S. in protest over the allegations. Greenwald today said more details about spying on Brazil will be revealed Sept. 8, according to Brasilia-based newspaper Correio Braziliense.
“My country and I are outraged about the accusations of spying practiced against the government, embassies, companies and Brazilian citizens,” Rousseff said earlier today. “If political conditions aren’t right, then the trip won’t happen. First, they are going to inform me of the size of the leak.”
Rousseff said U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice plans to contact her this Wednesday. Brazil intends to raise the issue of Internet governance at the United Nations and other international organizations, Rousseff added.
Greenwald has said the information revealed this month was part of the first batch of documents he received from fugitive security analyst Edward Snowden when they met in Hong Kong in May.
That was before Snowden, a former Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. employee, was granted a one-year asylum in Russia on President Vladimir Putin’s condition that he stop disclosing documents that harm U.S. interests.