Argentina, Brazil in joint plan against US spying

Argentina, Brazil in joint plan against US spying
Brazil's Minister of Foreign Affairs Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado

BUENOS AIRES - Argentina and Brazil are planning a coordinated response to US spying in Latin America, officials said Thursday.

The two countries' foreign ministers met in Buenos Aires to discuss US cyber-spying on Brazil and other Latin American allies, amid a diplomatic row over the practice.

Argentina's Hector Timerman and his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado noted the need to "advance the development of cyber tools to protect communications and strategic information storage," a statement said.

The two countries need to "coordinate positions and joint actions" in their response to the espionage allegations, it added.

Earlier this month, Brazilian daily O Globo, citing documents provided by fugitive US leaker Edward Snowden, reported widespread spying by the US

National Security Agency, including on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's email communications and on the state-run energy giant Petrobras.

Following the revelations, Rousseff postponed a long-planned state visit to Washington - an embarrassment for President Barack Obama and a blow to his efforts to improve ties with the key Latin American power.

"Brazil reflected the sentiments of the whole region," in her decision the defer the visit, Timerman told reporters at a joint press conference with Figueiredo.

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