U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis receives military honors before his meeting with Brazil's defense minister, in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 13, 2018. Mattis has spent six days visiting South American countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

US defense secretary pitches closer US-Brazil ties

August 14, 2018 - 8:49 am

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is making a pitch to Brazil for building a closer defense partnership with the United States, including in space research.

Mattis spoke Tuesday to military students at Brazil's senior war college in Rio de Janeiro. He encouraged them to remember and follow their nation's long tradition of working with the U.S. military, including as allies in World War II.

Mattis' visit reflected his emphasis on strengthening alliances, demonstrating U.S. concern about instability in Venezuela, and countering the influence of China and Russia.

Later this week he will visit Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

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