Venezuela's FM says Snowden has not yet Accepted Asylum Offer

Created: 2013-07-10 18:56 EST

Category: World
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Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has not yet formally accepted asylum in Venezuela, said Foreign Minister Elias Jaua in a Caracas television interview on Tuesday (July 09).
 
[Elias Jaua, Foreign Minister]:
“Snowden, as far as we understand it, is in the airport in Moscow. Snowden is not in Venezuelan territory. We wouldn't extradite him, nor should we because it is neither legal nor ethical. Besides, there are other countries such as Nicaragua and Bolivia who have also offered asylum." 
 
Snowden, who is wanted in the United States on espionage charges after revealing details of secret surveillance programs, is believed to be stuck in the transit area of a Moscow airport.
 
U.S. President Barack Obama has warned that an offer of asylum from a country would carry serious costs.
 
[Elias Jaua, Foreign Minister]:
"We will not be pressured by anybody because we are bound by international law to provide asylum whoever requests it from us. We are a sovereign nation with a tradition of protection for political refugees worldwide." 
 
President Maduro has said that Snowden would find humanitarian protection within Venezuela.