Cooperation in energy development, closer economic ties including a free trade agreement and praise for Brazil’s economic and political leadership were some of the issues discussed by visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her first day of meetings with Brazilian officials.
Speaking at a press conference Clinton praised Brazil for its economic and political leadership, but stopped short of endorsing the country's immediate entrance as a permanent member of the UN Security council, which is a priority for Brazilian diplomacy.
The US admires Brazil's growing leadership, Clinton said, adding that in the future it would be hard to imagine a Security Council without a country like Brazil.
The US is committed to reform of the UN Security Council and “will support the entrance of Brazil in the future once international consensus is built around the matter”.
Hillary and Brazilian Foreign Relations minister Antonio Patriota earlier in the day discussed furthering bilateral economic relations between the countries, as well as world matters including UN cooperation in Haiti and security threats in the Middle East.
Regarding Iran and Syria, Clinton said the U.S. was hopeful for progress in upcoming talks, but added it would maintain pressure, especially on Iran to reduce the ambiguity of its position on nuclear energy and weapons development.
Patriota said he believed military action against Iran at this moment was unadvisable and that more diplomatic action was needed on the matter.
On trade matters in South America, Clinton gave backing for deepening of investment initiatives in Brazil and said the US would work closely to help develop the country's offshore oil reserves.
The Secretary of State also met with the head of Brazil's state-run oil giant Petrobras Maria das Gracas Foster to discuss US-Brazilian cooperation in deep-water oil exploration.
US firms could benefit from new legislation in Brazil which is expected to give Petrobras the lead in future pre-salt, deep water oil exploration. The official added: Both the Brazilian government and Petrobras have expressed interest in opening space for more international participation in these efforts.
Clinton and Foster also discussed plans for greater US-Brazilian collaboration in next generation technological solutions to deep-water exploration challenges, the official said.
Petrobras is developing huge deep-water oil reserves off the Brazilian coast, which are estimated to hold 100 billion barrels of high-grade crude. The reserves could turn Brazil into one of the world's top crude oil exporters.
In a speech later to the National Confederation of Industry, Clinton said she believed the US and Brazil can do much more to deepen their partnership.
I believe that the opportunities and potential for greater investment, trade, growth and jobs is only now being tapped, Clinton said.
In order to promote economic growth for both countries, Clinton outlined key priorities.
”We need to redouble our efforts to conclude a double taxation treaty. We need to explore a bilateral investment treaty. We need to consider in the future a free trade agreement”, underlined Hillary Clinton.