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Bolivia denies Snowden on president's plane

English.news.cn   2013-07-03 07:46:35            
 • Bolivian FM Tuesday denied Snowden was on the plane flying Bolivia's president out of Europe.
 • The plane was diverted to Vienna after France and Portugal refused it to enter their airspace.
 • Earlier Tuesday, Bolivia's government said it was willing to consider an asylum request from Snowden.


LA PAZ, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca Tuesday denied U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden was on the plane flying Bolivia's president out of Europe, after the plane was diverted on suspicions it was carrying both men.

In a televised announcement, the minister said "we don't know who invented the lie, but we want to denounce the injustice of ( diverting) President Evo Morales' plane to the international community."

The plane carrying Morales from Moscow, where he was attending a meeting of natural gas-producing nations, was diverted to Vienna, Austria after France and Portugal refused to allow it to enter their airspace.

Earlier Tuesday, Bolivia's government said it had not officially received an asylum request from Snowden, but was willing to consider such a petition.

"Officially no request has arrived, but if it arrives, the president (Evo Morales) has said we will consider it," Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera told reporters at a press conference.

Garcia referred to President Morales' statements made Tuesday in Moscow that "if there is a petition, of course we are willing to discuss, to analyze the issue."

Also on Tuesday, the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks revealed Bolivia was among some 20 countries Snowden had requested political asylum from, after withdrawing his asylum request from Russia, because of the conditions imposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin publicly offered Snowden asylum on the condition that he stop affecting the United States with his disclosures.

Snowden, a former contractor with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), blew the lid off the agency's secret global surveillance program, angering Washington, which has charged him with espionage.

Snowden first fled to Hong Kong, but is now reportedly at a Moscow airport transit zone awaiting word on asylum.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has been asking countries to refuse Snowden asylum, as Ecuador's president recently revealed.

Related:

Snowden asks for political asylum in Russia, Kremlin remains silent

MOSCOW, July 1 (Xinhua) -- Fugitive U.S. citizen Edward Snowden has asked for political asylum in Russia, the Foreign Ministry said Monday. The Kremlin made no comments over the latest developments.

"British citizen Sarah Harrison who acted on behalf of the U.S. citizen Edward Snowden arrived at the consular office of the Foreign Ministry in the Sheremetyevo airport. She has handed over to the Russian diplomats Snowden's request about granting him political asylum in Russia," the Interfax news agency quoted consular officer Kim Shevchenko as saying. Full story

Russia sees it hard to make satisfactory decision over Snowden

MOSCOW, July 1 (Xinhua) -- No ready-made decision over the fate of fugitive Edward Snowden exists, said Nikolai Patrushev, head of the Russian Security Council, Monday.

"There is no decision which would satisfy both sides," Patrushev told the state news channel Russia-24.  Full story

Eavesdropping on friends unacceptable:Germany

BERLIN, July 1 (Xinhua) -- The German government on Monday said that Berlin felt surprised and "alienated" by media reports of cold-war-style U.S. spying on European nations. "We are no longer in the Cold War," a government spokeman said.

"If media reports of spying on European nations by U.S. intelligence are confirmed, there must be consequences," said German government spokesman Steffen.

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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