BRASILIA, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's new Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo took the oath of office Wednesday, calling on the country's diplomatic corps to respect the higher authority of their superiors.
Figueiredo's predecessor Antonio Patriota stepped down Monday amid escalating tensions with Bolivia after a Bolivian senator fled his homeland with the help of a Brazilian diplomat.
In his inauguration speech, Figueiredo, who had been Brazil's ambassador to the UN, vowed to "make the foreign ministry even more useful to the government and bring it closer to Congress and civil society."
Patriota, who will replace Figueiredo as ambassador to the UN, also stressed the importance of "respecting hierarchy and the chain of command."
"Without that, we risk unpredictable consequences, capable of damaging our cohesion, credibility and capacity to act," said Patriota.
Patriota resigned after Eduardo Saboia, the Brazilian charge d'affaires in La Paz, acknowledged that he managed, based on "personal decision," to smuggle Roger Pinto to Brazil after the latter was holed up for 15 months in the Brazilian embassy in Bolivia.
Pinto, a right wing politician, had blamed Morales for corruption, as part of what the Bolivian government called as a smear plot against the president.
After being sentenced to a year in prison for corruption, he then sought asylum at the Brazilian embassy, which was granted in June 2012.
The incident further escalated tensions between La Paz and Brasilia over Pinto, as Morales had called the Brazilian decision to grant Pinto asylum was "a mistake."