August 4, 2016 / 12:26 AM / 3 years ago

Fewer heads of state than expected to attend Rio Games : sources

2016 Rio Olympics - Olympic Park - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 31/07/2016. Sunset in the Olympic Park. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Only 28 heads of state and government have confirmed their attendance at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, far fewer than the 50 expected by organizers last week, Brazilian government sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

With Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff suspended from office pending her trial in the Senate on charges of breaking budget rules, there have been no requests so far for bilateral meetings with interim President Michel Temer in Rio, the sources said.

Among fellow Latin American countries, only the presidents of Argentina and Paraguay have confirmed their presence at the games, which run from Aug. 5-21. China is sending its vice premier, despite its close trading relationship with Brazil, three sources said.

French President Francois Hollande, whose country is bidding to host the 2024 Olympics in Paris, will attend, as will the heads of state of Portugal and Germany.

The U.S. delegation will be led by Secretary of State John Kerry, who is due to have a bilateral meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Jose Serra.

Temer, the former vice-president, told reporters in a recent interview that he intended to keep a low international profile until the conclusion of Rousseff’s trial at the end of August following the conclusion of the Olympics.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by Bill Rigby

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