By Stephanie Foden, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The White House said on Wednesday that it will address Brazil’s questions on the allegations that the United States spied on President Dilma Rousseff and oil giant Petrobras, in an attempt to smooth over relations between the two allied countries.
Susan Rice, President Obama’s National Security Advisor, met with Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado in Washington yesterday to discuss the documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.
Rice told the Foreign Minister that the U.S. recognizes why Brazil is alarmed, and articulated that media outlets reporting on Snowden’s leaks “have distorted our activities” while others “raise legitimate questions for our friends and allies about how these capabilities are employed,” explained Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, in a statement.
“The United States is committed to working with Brazil to address these concerns, while we continue to work together on a shared agenda of bilateral, regional and global initiatives,” said Hayden.
Figueiredo did not comment on the meeting with Rice yesterday, explained a spokesman at the Brazilian embassy in Washington, but specified he will stay in the U.S. to further discuss the issue with the American government today.
Rousseff has made her dissatisfaction over the espionage claims clear by publicly demanding answers from the U.S. and threatening the cancel her state visit to Washington in October. Last week at the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, Obama reiterated his commitment to working with Brazil and Mexico to resolve tensions brought on by the recent NSA leaks.
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