Politics & Government

Obama congratulates Brazil’s president

President Barack Obama called Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday to congratulate her on her re-election, the White House said.

Rousseff on Sunday won a second term as the leader of the world’s fourth largest democracy in the closest presidential elections in this country in more than two decades.

Obama in the call “emphasized the strategic value of our bilateral partnership and reinforced his commitment to deepening our cooperation in areas such as commerce, energy, and other priority bilateral issues through our existing strategic dialogues,” the White House said, adding that Rousseff “thanked the president and affirmed that strengthening ties with the United States is a priority for Brazil.”

Relations between the two chief executives have been strained for a year over revelations that the National Security Agency spied on foreign leaders. Rousseff in September 2013 scrapped a scheduled state visit to the White House amid Brazilian outrage over news that the U.S. spied on her and a Brazilian oil company.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest wouldn’t say if Obama re-issued the invite for a state visit but noted a Brazilian state dinner “would certainly be a sight to see.”

Earnest said Obama was “pleased to have the opportunity” to congratulate Rousseff.

“The president does value the strong working relationship that he has had personally with President Rousseff, but also the strong working relationship that has existed between Brazil and the United States for quite some time now,” Earnest said.