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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Dilma Plans First Visit To The US In Two Decades



January 2, 2015 5:13 pm

Dilma Rousseff plans first state visit to US in two decades

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends a breakfast with journalists at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, on December 22, 2014. Rousseff spoke about the achievements of her government in 2014 and the corruption scandal in the state oil company Petrobras. AFP PHOTO/EVARISTO SA (Photo credit should read EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)©AFP
Brazil’s government has vowed to improve relations with the US, promising its first state visit in two decades and appointing its ambassador in Washington as the country’s new foreign minister.
Following her inauguration ceremony for a second term, President Dilma Rousseff told US vice-president Joe Biden late on Thursday that she plans to make the visit by the end of September, her chief of staff Aloizio Mercadante told reporters.
The long-awaited state visit had been scheduled for October last year but Ms Rousseff cancelled it in anger over US spying — a big setback in what was already a delicate relationship between the Americas’ two largest economies.
“It is of great importance that we improve our relationship with the US because of the country’s economic, political, scientific and technological importance, as well as the volume of our bilateral trade,” Ms Rousseff said during her inauguration speech.
“It’s a new year, a new start,” said Mr Biden after their meeting in Brasília. In a statement, the White House said both had "agreed on the need to work in equal partnership to develop a robust and ambitious agenda", but it did not mention the state visit.
This week Ms Rousseff also named Mauro Vieira, Brazil’s ambassador to the US, as foreign minister in a move that is expected to further ease relations between the two countries.
In spite of their similarities as vast and racially diverse democratic countries, Brazil and the US have long had a relationship of mutual distrust. Brazil’s erratic foreign policy decisions, including close relationships with Cuba and Venezuela, have often confused and disappointed the US.
Meanwhile, Brazil has often resented the US for what it sees as its imperialistic view of the world, as well as its failure to recognise Brazil’s own political and economic importance.
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