UPDATE 4-Biden "confident" relations with Brazil can be repaired

martes 17 de junio de 2014 17:00 GYT

(Adds comment by a U.S. official on Biden-Rousseff discussion)

By Anthony Boadle

BRASILIA, June 17 (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he was confident relations with Brazil were on the road to recovery after he assured President Dilma Rousseff that Washington has changed the way it conducts electronic surveillance.

U.S.-Brazil relations have been largely on ice since documents leaked last year by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden showed that Washington had spied on Rousseff and other world leaders.

A day after watching the U.S. soccer team's victorious debut in the World Cup in the northeastern Brazilian city of Natal, Biden traveled to the capital, Brasilia, to meet Rousseff in hopes of turning the page on the espionage spat.

Biden said he and Rousseff had a "candid" talk about the episode and Internet surveillance, and that he was "confident" the hour-long discussion would help thaw relations between the hemisphere's two biggest economies.

"We discussed the common effort we have to protect and secure the Internet," Biden said later. "It is not a government tool of repression. It is owned by the people of the world."

Biden also handed Brazilian authorities a first batch of declassified U.S. documents that shed light on human rights abuses committed under Brazil's U.S.-backed 1964-85 military dictatorship, a gesture of particular interest to Rousseff, who was a political prisoner and a torture victim.

"I hope that in taking steps to come to grips with our past we can find a way to focus on the immense promise of the future," Biden said. "The sky is the limit to what we can achieve together."   Continuación...