[QODLink]
Americas

Biden asks Ecuador to refuse Snowden asylum

US vice-president relates "cordial request" not to shelter NSA whistleblower, Ecuadorean president says.

Last Modified: 29 Jun 2013 20:29
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
President Rafael Correa promised to respect Washington's opinion in evaluating Snowden's asylum request [EPA]

The United States has politely asked Ecuador to refuse whistleblower Edward Snowden's application for asylum, its president Rafael Correa has said.

Correa said US vice-president Joe Biden made the request on Saturday in a "cordial" telephone conversation.

"He communicated a very courteous request from the United States that we reject the asylum request," Correa said during his weekly television broadcast, praising Biden's good manners in contrast to the "brats" of Congress who had threatened to cut trade benefits over the Snowden issue.

Biden initiated the phone call, Correa said, and added that he promised to respect Washington's opinion in evaluating the request.

"When he [Snowden] arrives on Ecuadorean soil, if he arrives ... of course the first opinions we will seek are those of the United States," Correa said.

It is the first high-level discussion between Ecuador and the US since Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, leaked how the spying programme Prism trawled the details of millions of private conversations a day.

Snowden has since applied for asylum in Ecuador.

US should explain itself

The phone call came hours after Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, called on the US to tell the world why it was spying on so many people.

“The United States should be giving a clear and thorough explanation to the citizens of the world regarding this issue,” Patino said.

“Instead the entire world is focused on what happens to Edward Snowden and everyone is focused on whether or not the so-called fugitive is captured and that's not the problem."

The US has charged Snowden with espionage for leaking secret information.

The whistleblower, currently said to be in transit at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, is being assisted by the anti-secrecy organisation WikiLeaks to secure asylum in Ecuador.

Ecuador, whose embassy in London has given WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asylum as he fights extradition to Sweden where he is wanted on sex assault charges, said earlier this week it was still “analysing” the application.

Snowden has not been seen since he arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong on Sunday, but Russian officials said he is still in transit.

345

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.