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Ecuador expects OAS to condemn incident on Bolivian president's plane
Xinhua | July 10, 2013 13:09
By Agencies
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Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said on Tuesday he expected the Organization of American States (OAS) to condemn last week's incident, in which some European countries denied access of Bolivian President Evo Morales' plane.

"Today the OAS should consider supporting President Evo Morales (and) condemning what happened to him," said Patino in an interview with public television station Ecuador TV.

The organization's permanent council convened a special session Tuesday at its headquarters in Washington to discuss the unprecedented denial of access to a head of state, which was reportedly sparked by rumors that US whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board.

Stressing the gravity of the incident, which forced the plane to make an unscheduled landing in Vienna, Austria, Patino said it "put the life of the Bolivian president and his entourage at risk."

Several Latin American countries have condemned the decision by France, Spain, Italy and Portugal to ban the flight from entering their airspace, calling it an "insult" and "aggression" against South America's first indigenous president.

The Presidents of Venezuela, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay and Suriname, all members of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), met last Thursday in Bolivia and demanded explanations and apologies from these European governments. The meeting was convened by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.

Morales' flight was diverted as he was returning home last week from attending a meeting of gas-producing nations in Moscow, where he had publicly expressed his willingness to consider giving Snowden political asylum.

Snowden, who fled the US before blowing the whistle on Washington's global spying program, is said to be marooned at a Moscow airport transit area, his passport having been revoked.

Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua all have offered to grant him asylum.

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Posted in: Americas

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