Italian Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi has postponed his visit to Brazil from next Tuesday to next month, the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Berlusconi had been scheduled to meet Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Tuesday and attend a seminar with businessmen from both countries, Xinhua reported.
According to Brazilian media reports, the delay of the trip might be related to the dispute between the two countries over the fate of Italian Cesare Battisti, who is charged with murder in Italy.
Lula was expected to decide soon on whether to grant political asylum to Battisti.
The Brazilian and Italian governments are on opposite sides of the issue concerning Battisti's extradition. Last year, Brazil's Ministry of Justice ruled that Battisti should remain in Brazil, causing uproar from the Italian government and relatives of victims.
The Italian was sentenced in Italy to life imprisonment on charges of involvement in four murders. In 2007, he was arrested in Brazil by the Federal Police. Battisti had argued to have been victim of a forged whistleblower.
The Italian Foreign Ministry of Italy has condemned the ruling of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and asked Lula to reconsider the decision.
Last year, Brazil's Supreme Court said Battisti should be extradited, but stressed that it is Lula who has the final say on the issue.