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Brazil Leader to Say if She Will Visit US After Spying Row

BRASILIA – Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff will announce Tuesday whether she will keep a state visit to Washington next month after a row over reported US cyper-spying on her and Brazil’s oil giant, her government said.

BRASILIA – Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff will announce Tuesday whether she will keep a state visit to Washington next month after a row over reported US cyper-spying on her and Brazil’s oil giant, her government said.

Government spokesman Thomas Traumann said Rousseff, joined by her Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, took a call from US President Barack Obama that lasted for 20 minutes. The spokesman did not give any details about the content of the chat.

But Rousseff had been awaiting an explanation on reports by Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo the US National Security Agency spied on her communications, those of her aides and on those of Petrobras.

The newspapers Folha de Sao Paulo and O Globo have reported that she could be ready to call off her state visit to Washington set for October 23.

She is due to travel to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where she will speak out against such espionage, her office has said.

The cyber-spying allegations stem from documents leaked by fugitive former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

But whether Rousseff visits Washington next month, the alleged US espionage targeting Petrobras will not delay an oil field auction scheduled for next month, a government official has said.

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The finding of the enormous so-called Libra field marked the largest oil discovery in Brazilian history. It is believed to hold between eight and 12 billion barrels of recoverable oil, and covers an area of 1,500 square kilometers in ultra deep oil fields detected in 2007.

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AFP 2023

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