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RIO DE JANEIRO, August 5 /TASS/. About 40 heads of state and government will attend the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The opening ceremony will take place at the Maracana stadium on August 5, a Brazilian government source told TASS on Thursday.
"We expect about 40 heads of state and government," the source said. The Brazilian Foreign Ministry press service said, in turn, that the ministry was not disclosing the exact number of the world leaders who are planning to be present at the opening ceremony for security reasons.
Late in July, Brazilian Foreign Minister Jose Serra told journalists that 45 heads of state and government had confirmed their presence at the Olympics opening ceremony in Rio. They include the presidents of France and Argentina; the Italian prime minister. US Secretary of State John Kerry will represent the United States. He is to meet the Brazilian foreign minister on the Games’ opening day.
Serra told TASS that the decision to start the impeachment procedures against Dilma Rousseff and her suspension from office had not affected the world leaders’ decision to attend the opening ceremony.
"There have been no signals that anybody is not coming or has changed their minds because of that (the impeachment process - TASS). I have not heard anything even about informal dialogues on this subject," the Brazilian foreign minister said.
Earlier, the Brazilian media reported that some world leaders had been slow in confirming their presence because of political uncertainty. Many of them had received invitations from Dilma Rousseff. However, Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer will be the one who will officially represent the country at the opening ceremony.
At least 69 world leaders attended the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 2012. At least 50 heads of state and government arrived for the winter competitions in Sochi in 2014.
The 31st Summer Olympic Games, the very first for Latin America, will be held in the resort city of Rio de Janeiro between August 5 and 21. The 2016 Summer Paralympic Games will take place between September 7 and 18.