US invites Brazil's Rousseff for official visit

Updated: 2015-03-26 13:28


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US invites Brazil's Rousseff for official visit

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff reacts during the ceremony to sign a Provisional Measure of Policy Wage Minimum, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia March 24, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO - The US government has invited Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff for an official visit to Washington D.C., in a move to repair strained relations following a US espionage scandal, local media reported Wednesday.

The formal invitation was made by US Vice President Joe Biden, who visited Brazil last year during the FIFA World Cup, reports said.

In 2013, information leaked by former US intelligence employee Edward Snowden showed that the United States had been eavesdropping on phones of many foreign leaders including Rousseff and that the US also spied on Brazil's state-controlled oil giant Petrobras.

Brazil then demanded an apology from the US side but did not get one. In response, Rousseff canceled a previously-scheduled state visit to Washington and ties between the two countries have been in freeze since then.

The invitation indicates a willingness by the United States to make peace, but it is unknown whether Rousseff will accept it, local media said.

If Rousseff accepts the invitation, she has two options: a full state visit in 2016 or a high-level work meeting this year. No Brazilian presidents have made a state visit to the US in 20 years.

Rousseff will meet her US counterpart Barack Obama at the Summit of the Americas, which will take place in Panama on April 10-11. She is expected to give Obama her answer on this occasion, the reports said.