U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday morning, trying to repair a relationship shattered by allegations of U.S. spying.
Biden arrived Tuesday at the Palacio Planalto, Brazil’s version of the White House, telling reporters that he was “confident” that the U.S. could re-establish ties with Latin America’s largest country. Biden will also hold meetings with Brazilian Vice President Michel Temer. The U.S. was Brazil’s largest trade partner until being passed recently by China.
Brazil’s relationship with the U.S. has been chilly since last year, when former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed thousands of pages of documents showing the agency collected data on Brazil’s president and local companies such as state-run oil company Petrobras.
Rousseff canceled a visit and state dinner with U.S. President Barack Obama in the wake of the spying allegations. Brazil has pushed the U.S. for assurances that the spying has ended.
There has also been speculation that Snowden could eventually seek asylum in Brazil, although Brazilian government officials have said that he has not yet made such a request. Snowden’s temporary visa to stay in Russia expires later this year.
Biden was in Brazil to see Monday’s World Cup match between the U.S. and Ghana. The U.S. team won, 2-1, leaving the vice president in a good mood ahead of his visit with Rousseff, according to local press reports. U.S. soccer fans were the biggest foreign buyers of tickets for the FIFA 2014 World Cup, which is being hosted at 12 cities throughout Brazil.
The month-long tournament ends July 13, when the final match will be played in Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Maracana stadium.
After the meetings in Brazil, Biden will head to Colombia and Guatemala as part of a trip to meet with other South American and Central American leaders.
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