Hillary Clinton arrives in Brazil to discuss controversial issues

15:16, March 03, 2010      

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Brazil Tuesday on a whirlwind visit to meet President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Foreign Minister Celso Amorim to discuss controversial issues.

Among the issues to be discussed are Brazil's position on the Iranian nuclear program, the U.S. offer in the tender opened by Brazil for the purchase of 36 fighter jets and Brazil's relations with Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Honduras.

The most controversial issue is Brazil's support of Iran's nuclear program for alleged peaceful purposes, which aroused strong criticism in the U.S. Congress.

As for the fighters, Clinton insists on the superiority of the U.S. Super Hornet, produced by Boeing. However, Lula prefers the French Dassault Rafale.

Clinton and Amorim will also discuss a joint project to be developed by the United States and Brazil in Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake on Jan. 12, leaving 220,000 people dead and leaving more than one million without shelter.

Brazil's decision to apply sanctions, authorized by the World Trade Organization, against the United States in a dispute over U.S. cotton subsidies is also expected to be discussed between Clinton and Miguel Jorge, Brazil's development, industry and trade minister.

On March 8, the Brazilian government will officially disclose a list of goods that will suffer increases in export tariffs to compensate for losses due to those subsidies.

On Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. secretary of state will head for Sao Paulo. There she will meet with businessmen and visit Zumbi dos Palmares, the first university in Brazil devoted specifically to students of African descent.

Clinton's visit is a preparation for President Barack Obama's first visit to Brazil, which will probably occur in the second half of this year.

Before coming to Brazil, the secretary of state visited Argentina, Uruguay -- where she participated in the inauguration ceremony of President Jose Mujica -- and Chile, where she offered aid to rebuild the country seriously affected by a powerful earthquake on Feb. 27.

Source: Xinhua
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