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BRICS to discuss US spying on Rousseff: Brazil
September 3, 2013, 9:05 am

Rousseff is slated to meet the US president in September. (Xinhua Images)

Rousseff is set to meet the US president in September [Xinhua]

Brazil said Monday it will discuss with its BRICS partners new reports about the United States spying on President Dilma Rousseff.

A programme broadcast on Brazil’s Globo TV last Sunday, revealed the National Security Agency (NSA) monitored the content of telephone calls, emails and cellphone messages of President Dilma Rousseff and her key advisers.

“We will be talking with our partners, both developed nations and emerging ones, such as those in BRICS, because we believe this involves all of us, affects all of us,” Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo said on Monday.

Brazil has said the claims were “very serious,” and, if proved, were “an inadmissible and unacceptable violation of sovereignty.”

The two Brazilian ministers said they had met US Ambassador Thomas Shannon and set Friday as a deadline for an official response.

Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo and Figueiredo told a press conference after an emergency meeting with President Rousseff that they expected a formal written response from the US government.

Ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit, the ministers said Brazil was determined to take the matter to various international forums.

Documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden by Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald revealed in the programme that the NSA’s operation was “to improve understanding of the methods of communication and the interlocutors of the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, and her top aides.”

“When the country is more independent and stronger, as is Brazil, and because it’s competing with the United States and American companies, the US government is thinking differently about Brazil,” said Greenwald.

Meanwhile, Figueiredo said on Monday Brazil’s next steps would depend on the answers the US provided.

Cardozo said US spying on a Brazilian head of state went against ties between two nations bound by a strategic alliance.

The new allegations have cast a shadow over Rousseff’s impending trip to the US next month with local media reports suggesting a postponement or a cancellation.

Figueiredo refused to comment on the issue.

Figueiredo said Brazil would promote a debate on establishing international regulations that prevent spying on private and government communications.

“We want an agreement to regulate Internet use, not to curtail rights, but to protect rights. We want there to be real freedom, so companies, citizens and governments won’t be a target of these types of violations,” Figueiredo said.

Rousseff has made no formal statements so far, but called the emergency meeting early Monday with several ministers to discuss the scandal.

In July, after news of US spying on Brazilian government agencies, companies and individuals first surfaced, Globo claimed Brazil was the NSA’s largest target.

Last week, Cardozo travelled to Washington, where he discussed the earlier spying revelations with US Vice President Joe Biden.

Source: Agencies