Unasur countries demand European apology for barring Bolivian president's plane


LIMA, July 4 (Xinhua) -- The decision by four European countries to deny access to a plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales has brought a sharp response from Latin America. Six Union of South American Nations (Unasur) countries on Thursday strongly condemned the action and demanded an apology to Morales.
    Leaders of Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Uruguay, Surinam and Bolivia held an emergency meeting in the central Bolivian city of Cochabamba. Representatives from Brazil, Chile and Peru attended the meeting. A statement issued after the meeting voiced support for Morales and indignation at Tuesday's acts by France, Portugal, Italy and Spain.

    The incident "set a dangerous precedent of violating international laws" in the world, the statement said.Participants at the meeting decided to establish an event tracking committee and make a complaint to the UN about the European countries' violation of human rights.

    The Bolivian Air Force plane, a French-made Falcon Dassault, landed in the Bolivian capital of La Paz at around midnight local time (0400 GMT) Wednesday after a 17-hour trip, including refueling stops in the Canary Islands (Spain) and Fortaleza (Brazil).

    Morales and his entourage returned to Bolivia from Moscow, where he had attended a meeting of gas-producing countries. During the flight, France, Portugal, Italy and Spain denied the Bolivian plane access on suspicions U.S. intelligence leader Edward Snowden was on board. The plane was then forced to land in Vienna, Austria, where it remained for at least 14 hours before resuming its flight.

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency was the mastermind behind the incident. So far, the United States has neither confirmed nor denied it. Morales said Bolivia was a sovereign state with dignity and would never succumb to any intimidation or threats from the United States.
    He also called on Latin American countries to bolster Unasur solidarity and jointly counter "imperialist provocative acts." Snowden, who faces espionage charges in the United States, is applying for political asylum to 21 countries, including Bolivia, according to a WikiLeaks report.

  Snowden fled to Moscow from Hong Kong and has reportedly stayed since June 23 in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.
   Morales has said if Bolivia received a political asylum request, the country would consider sheltering Snowden.



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Jagran khabar: Unasur countries demand European apology for barring Bolivian president's plane
Unasur countries demand European apology for barring Bolivian president's plane
Jagran khabar
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