Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has postponed a state visit to the White House on October 23 out of concerns about US surveillance programs, the White House said on Tuesday.
President Rousseff was to be honored in Washington on October 23 with the first state visit of President Barack Obama\’s second term. But her office said in a statement Tuesday that "in the absence of a timely investigation" into the revelations about the National Security Agency\’s spy program, the conditions do not exist for the visit to take place as scheduled.
Documents leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden show the NSA spied on President Rousseff\’s communications with aides, hacked into the computer network of Brazil\’s state-run Petrobas oil company and collected data on billions of emails and phone calls going through Brazil.
Both the White House and President Rousseff\’s office said she and President Obama agreed together to postpone the state visit. The two leaders spoke by phone on Monday. The Brazilian statement says Ms. Rousseff\’s government is confident the visit can take place when the surveillance question is settled in an adequate manner.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Obama looks forward to welcoming President Rousseff to Washington "at a date to be mutually agreed." Carney said the relationship between the two countries "should not be overshadowed by a single bilateral issue, no matter how important or challenging the issue may be."
Brazil and the U.S. have been steadily boosting ties in the past few years, but Brazil has been angered by the spying disclosures.
U.S. officials have said NSA surveillance was aimed only at tracking suspected terrorist activity.