The Washington Times - March 18, 2011, 07:55PM

A joint press conference with President Obama and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff slated to take place here on Saturday has been called off because the Brazilian government did not want reporters to have the opportunity to ask questions, an Obama administration official said.

Instead, the two leaders will merely “deliver remarks to the media” following their bilateral meeting at the Palacio do Planalto, according to a White House press schedule.

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Mr. Obama and Ms. Rousseff had been expected to take at least a couple of questions from journalists eager to ask about the recent UN resolution authorizing a no-fly-zone over Libya and Brazil’s bid for a permanent seat on the world body’s security council.

According to the administration official, the White House requested that reporters be allowed to ask questions following the remarks, but the Brazilian government balked.

Mr. Obama is in the country for a two-day visit that also includes a stop in the cultural capital of Rio de Janeiro as part of a five-day visit to Latin America. He’s expected to emphasize U.S. business ties with Brazil, the world’s seventh-largest economy.