Brazil, US official discuss differences

AP News
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Posted: Nov 26, 2009 7:39 PM

Brazilian diplomats denied Thursday that there is a crisis in relations with the U.S., while acknowledging differences with the government of President Barack Obama on issues such as Iran's nuclear ambitions and relations with post-coup Honduras.

Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said he spoke more than an hour by telephone with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about issues on the international agenda, including those that divide the two countries.

Obama recently wrote to Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva about sensitive issues including climate change and trade, and Amorim said Silva wrote back Thursday.

"We continue to talk on all these issues. It isn't always necessary to agree. The important thing is to talk," Amorim said. "All are extremely friendly contacts."

On Tuesday, Lula's international adviser, Marco Aurelio Garcia, had said Brazil is "a little disappointed with President Obama." But on Thursday, Garcia agreed that there was no crisis with Washington.

The U.S. has indicated it may recognize the results of Honduras' presidential election Sunday, even though President Manuel Zelaya has not been returned to office after being deposed in a June coup _ a condition Brazil and other Latin American countries have given for legitimizing the results.

"We believe that no one should recognize Sunday's election as legitimate because we believe it is an attempt to erase the coup," Garcia said.

Amorim and Garcia cited another area of disagreement _ the deal between Washington and Colombia allowing U.S. troops access to Colombian military bases.

"Having foreign bases in the region, whether from the United States, China, Russia, Iran or whoever, is not something we see as positive," Amorim said.