By Julian Pecquet - 09/05/13 05:49 PM EDT
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff threatened to cancel her White House visit scheduled for next month if she doesn't get a public apology from the Obama administration over allegations of U.S. spying.
“She is completely furious,” a Brazilian official told the wire service. “This is a major, major crisis. ... There needs to be an apology. It needs to be public. Without that, it's basically impossible for her to go to Washington in October.”
A cancelation would be a major embarrassment for the White House, which had planned to make Rousseff's visit the only official State visit this year as a sign of the administration's commitment to Latin America.
Instead, the trip risks becoming the latest casualty of the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's leaks.
Rousseff's ire was sparked by American journalist Glenn Greenwald's report this weekend on Brazil's Globo TV that the NSA spied on her emails and phone calls, as well as those of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
White House spokesman Ben Rhodes told reporters on Air Force One Thursday that Obama would address the issue with Rousseff.
"What we’re focused on is making sure the Brazilians understand exactly what the nature of our intelligence effort is," he said.
"We carry out intelligence like just about every other country around the world. If there are concerns that we can address consistent with our national security requirements, we will aim to do so through our bilateral relationship."
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