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US, Brazilian Presidents Discuss Issues of Concern in Americas

President Barack Obama has spoken with his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, about "issues of mutual interest and concern in the Americas."

Brazil's leader expressed concern about a plan to give the U.S. military greater access to seven bases in Colombia.

In a statement, the White House said the two leaders spoke Friday morning.

It said President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to long-standing U.S. relationships in the region, and his desire to work with Brazil and others in the hemisphere to help advance democracy, security and prosperity for the people of the Americas.

The United States recently reached a provisional agreement with Colombia, giving U.S. forces access to Colombian bases to tackle regional drug-trafficking and terrorism.

South American nations such as Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela have criticized the plan, with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez saying the U.S. forces could threaten his country.

The statement said Mr. Obama looks forward to seeing President da Silva next month at the Pittsburgh G-20 Summit, and continuing to strengthen the U.S. partnership with Brazil.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.