Obama says Brazil's Rousseff to visit United States in late June

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 11, 2015 6:19 PM

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday that Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff will visit Washington on June 30, raising hopes of closer ties that could increase trade between the two biggest economies in the Americas.

Obama made the announcement during a meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of a regional summit in Panama City.

The leftist Brazilian leader canceled a state visit to the United States in October 2013, after she was angered by revelations that U.S. spies had tapped her personal communications.

After more than a year of efforts by both sides to heal relations, Vice President Joe Biden re-extended the invitation to Rousseff in a phone call on March 13, sources previously told Reuters.

Rousseff's popularity at home has tumbled because of a corruption scandal at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA and a weak economy that has fallen into a slump after a boom in the previous decade.

U.S. officials believe a strong demonstration of support for Brazil will eventually unlock greater access to its $2.2 trillion economy, Latin America's biggest.

(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Writing by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Simon Gardner and Grant McCool)