BRASILIA, Sept 17 Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff has canceled a state visit to Washington in October
over reports that the United States spied on her personal
communications and those of other Brazilians, a leading
Brazilian newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Rousseff, who was infuriated by the spying reports, decided
to cancel despite a 20-minute telephone call from President
Barack Obama on Monday night in a last-minute attempt to salvage
the trip, O Globo newspaper said.
O Globo gave no source for its information.
A spokesman for Rousseff, asked by Reuters to confirm the
report, replied only: "I don't have that information."
Rousseff is expected to announce whether or not she is going
to Washington at a news conference later on Tuesday.
If she confirms she will not go, it would be a big blow to
U.S.-Brazilian relations. Ties had been improving steadily since
Rousseff took office in 2011 but were upset by reports that the
National Security Agency snooped on emails, text messages and
calls between the president and her aides.
O Globo said Rousseff was unsatisfied by U.S. explanations
of the espionage revealed in documents leaked by former NSA
contractor Edward Snowden. U.S. officials said the NSA
surveillance was aimed at tracking suspected terrorist activity
and did not pry into personal communications, but Rousseff was
O Globo said Rousseff was unconvinced by U.S. explanations
of the espionage, which were based on documents leaked by former
NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Rousseff's visit, scheduled for Oct. 23, was conceived to
highlight the improvement in ties between the two biggest
economies in the Americas and Brazil's emergence over the past
decade as a regional power.
The trip has been seen as a platform for deals on oil
exploration and biofuels technology, and Brazil's potential
purchase of fighter jets from Chicago-based Boeing Co.
The itinerary includes a state dinner at the White House,
the only such event offered by the Obamas this year.