White House soothes Brazil over NSA

January 30, 2014

Julian Hattem – The Hill, 1/30/2014

The Obama administration is making an effort to quell foreign concerns about spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence arms.

On Thursday, National Security Adviser Susan Rice met with Brazil’s foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo, to update him on President Obama’s plans to rein in the spy agency.

Rice “outlined the results of the review of U.S. signals intelligence activities, and the reforms to be implemented,” the White House said in a statement.

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Brazil seeks end to international arms flow into Syria

September 17, 2013

Associated Foreign Press, 09/16/2013

Brazil on Monday called on the UN Security Council to order an immediate end to the international arms flow into Syria.

“It is urgent to immediately stop the flow of arms from the outside, which supplies all sides in the conflict,” Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo said.

“This arms inflow aggravates the humanitarian tragedy,” he told a news conference.

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Brazil’s Rousseff urged by top advisers to cancel U.S. visit

September 16, 2013

Brian Winter – Reuters, 09/14/2013

Top advisers to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff are urging her to cancel her planned state visit to the White House next month after revelations the U.S. National Security Agency spied on her and other Brazilians.

Among those now encouraging Rousseff to cancel the trip is former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a senior government official told Reuters on Saturday on condition of anonymity. Lula preceded Rousseff in office and remains enormously influential in important government decisions.

A former Cabinet minister under Lula, Franklin Martins, who also remains influential with Rousseff, previously urged her to cancel the trip, the official said.

The official told Reuters that Rousseff had not yet made up her mind and would only do so after a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with her foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo.

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As Brazil’s uproar over NSA grows, U.S. vows to work through tensions

September 13, 2013

Catherine Shoichet – CNN, 09/12/2013

As the furor mounts in Brazil over reports that the United States spied on President Dilma Rousseff and her advisers, the South American country’s foreign minister was in Washington on Wednesday.

U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice told Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo that the United States is committed to working with Brazil to address its concerns, the White House said in a statement.

But in Brazil, debate over media reports about alleged National Security Agency spying showed no signs of cooling.

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Brazil said to cancel trip to U.S. to prepare meeting with Obama

September 5, 2013

Arnaldo Galvao – Bloomberg, 09/04/2013

Brazilian authorities have canceled a trip to Washington that was designed to prepare for President Dilma Rousseff’s state visit next month in response to charges the U.S. spied on the South American nation.

Brazilian officials originally scheduled the trip for Sept. 7 to 11 to organize the details of Rousseff’s state visit, according to a government official who is close to the president and asked not to be named because the information isn’t official. He didn’t know whether Rousseff would cancel her trip in October.

Brazil’s government want the U.S. to respond this week to a report the National Security Agency used software to probe Rousseff’s communications with several aides, Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo told reporters in Brasilia Sept. 2. The spying, if true, would be “inadmissible and unacceptable,” he said.

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Brazil probes U.S. spying allegations

September 3, 2013

Paulo Trevisani & Loretta Chao -The Wall Street Journal, 09/02/2013

Brazil and Mexico each demanded responses from the U.S. Monday after a Brazilian news program alleged that Washington monitored the private communications of the countries’ presidents.

The allegations were made Sunday night on the Brazilian news program Fantástico by Glenn Greenwald, a Rio de Janeiro-based staff journalist with the British newspaper the Guardian.

On the show, Mr. Greenwald displayed what he said were U.S. intelligence documents obtained from Edward Snowden, who the U.S. government accuses of leaking thousands of classified documents from the National Security Agency. One document shows a chart mapping Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s communications patterns.

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Freelance diplomacy

August 29, 2013

The Economist, 08/31/2013

ITAMARATY, as Brazil’s foreign ministry is known, prides itself on having Latin America’s most professional diplomats. But nobody in Brazil’s government comes out well from an extraordinary incident involving a Bolivian opposition politician that has cost the foreign minister, Antonio Patriota, his job.

Roger Pinto, an opposition senator, sought refuge in Brazil’s embassy in La Paz in May 2012 after he had accused ministers in Bolivia’s socialist government of involvement in drug-trafficking. He was in turn deluged with corruption charges, and claimed he was being politically persecuted. Brazil swiftly agreed to grant him asylum. But Evo Morales, Bolivia’s president, refused to grant Mr Pinto safe-conduct to leave the country. Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, is reported to have ordered that no attempt be made to extract Mr Pinto without the consent of Mr Morales, an ally of the ruling Workers’ Party (PT).

But on August 23rd Brazil’s chargé d’affaires in La Paz, Eduardo Saboia, took matters into his own hands. Escorted by five Brazilian marines, he and Mr Pinto were driven to Brazil, a 22-hour journey. Mr Saboia said he feared for Mr Pinto’s mental health after 455 days of confinement in the embassy. Brazil’s opposition hailed him as a hero. Some in the PT muttered about extraditing Mr Pinto, even though he was granted asylum.

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Brazil president names Luiz Alberto Figueiredo foreign minister

August 29, 2013

Wall Street Journal, 08/26/2013

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff named Luiz Alberto Figueiredo foreign minister after Antonio Patriota resigned late Monday, the president’s office said.

Mr. Figueiredo, who serves as Brazil’s representative to the United Nations, takes over at a delicate time amid rising tensions with neighboring Bolivia and the U.S., which allegedly spied on Brazilian citizens and companies as part of a wide-ranging intelligence-gathering program. President Rousseff will also make a much-anticipated official trip to the U.S. in October.

Mr. Patriota resigned after a diplomatic row emerged with Bolivia. An official at Brazil’s embassy in Bolivia helped a Bolivian senator and rival to President Evo Morales, Roger Molina, flee the Andean nation. Mr. Molina was able to enter Brazil after a 22-hour trip in a diplomatic vehicle that transported him to the border with Brazil.

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Brazil’s foreign minister resigns amid row with Bolivia

August 29, 2013

Sashsta Darlington – CNN, 08/27/2013

Antonio Patriota, Brazil’s foreign minister, stepped down Monday night amid a diplomatic row with neighboring Bolivia.

President Dilma Rousseff’s office issued a brief statement, saying Patriota had submitted his resignation and would be replaced by Brazil’s representative at the United Nations, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo.

The resignation comes a day after a Brazilian diplomat helped an opposition senator from Bolivia flee into Brazil.

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Doha conference: carbon cuts talks must wait, says key negotiator

November 15, 2012

Jonathan Watts – The Guardian, 11/15/2012

The debate on whether the world needs stronger greenhouse gas cuts to keep the planet from warming by 2C should be deferred until next year, according to Brazil‘s lead negotiator at the upcoming talks in Doha.

Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo says delegates at Qatar – the most important climate negotiations of the year – should prioritise an extension of the Kyoto protocol and the rules for a longer-term agreement rather than be distracted by the crucial but contentious issue of emissions reductions.

Environmental groups, however, are calling for greater urgency from Brazil, a country that has won plaudits at previous gatherings for leading the search for common ground between wealthy and developing nations.

With the Kyoto protocol set to expire at the end of the year, Figueiredo told the Guardian there is an urgent need to ensure the continuation of a process that has been the foundation of international discussions for more than a decade, despite its shrinking support among the initial signatories.

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