[QODLink]
Americas

US warns Ecuador over Snowden case

US Senator warns that trade ties with Ecuador could be damaged if the country grants Snowden asylum.

Last Modified: 27 Jun 2013 02:33
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A former US spy agency contractor facing charges of espionage remains in hiding at a Moscow airport for a fifth day, while US politicians issue strong warnings to cut ties if Ecuador takes him in.

Robert Menendez, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on Wednesday, that he would seek to end the preferential treatment for Ecuadorean goods if the South American nation offers political asylum to Edward Snowden. 

Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan reports from Washington on latest developments on the Snowden case

Menendez said he would lead the effort to prevent the renewal of Ecuador's duty-free access to US markets under the Generalized System of Preferences program, and also to block the renewal of the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, both of which expires at the end of next month. 

Ecuador exported $5.4 billion worth of oil, $166m of cut flowers, $122m of fruits and vegetables and $80m of tuna to the US under the Andean trade program in 2012.

Ecuador said a decision could take weeks and asked Washington to argue its case for extradition.

Snowden remains in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and is seeking safe passage to Ecuador.

Extradition order

Hong Kong said the US request to arrest him did not fully comply with its legal requirements.

But White House spokesman Jay Carney lashed out at Beijing, saying its failure to "honour extradition obligations" had dealt a "serious setback" to efforts to build trust with new President Xi Jinping.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov repeated Putin's stated opinion that he should choose a destination and fly out as soon as possible, state-run Itar-Tass news agency reported.

But Ecuador's foreign minister indicated a decision on Snowden's asylum request could take upto two months.

"It took us two months to make a decision on Assange so do not expect us to make a decision sooner this time," Foreign Minister Richard Patino said in Kuala Lumpur, referring to the founder of anti-secrecy group Wikileaks, Julian Assange.

Al Jazeera's Teresa Bo reports from Quito on the impact of suspended trade ties with US

Asylum offer from Venezuela

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday he would "almost certainly" grant political asylum to Snowden. 

"If he asked us for it, we would think about it and we would almost certainly give it to him, because political asylum is an international human rights institution to protect the persecuted," said Maduro. 

Snowden fled to Hong Kong after leaking details of secret US government surveillance programmes, then flew on to Moscow on Sunday. There was no sign on Wednesday of him registering for onward flights out of Russia.

"They are not flying today and not over the next three days," an Aeroflot representative at the transfer desk at Sheremetyevo said when asked whether Snowden and his legal adviser, Sarah Harrison, were due to fly out.

"They are not in the system."

545

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.