Latin Presidents to Meet on Bolivia-Snowden Controversy

Created: 2013-07-05 10:23 EST

Category: World > South America

Bolivia on Thursday (July 4) prepared to host an emergency summit of South American presidents to discuss the "virtual kidnapping" of Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose plane was diverted in Europe on suspicion that former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was aboard.

Latin American presidents have condemned the refusal of some European countries to allow Morales' presidential plan to enter their airspace as he headed home from Russia on Tuesday. Morales called it a "provocation" aimed at all of South America.

Bolivian Foreign Minister said the presidents were expected to firmly condemn the incident,

[David Choquehuanca, Bolivian Foreign Minister]:
"Our presidents will meet today to express their repudiation, rejection and condemnation of the incident involving President Morales."

He also said it had sent back an extradition request received from the U.S. for Snowden.

[David Choquehuanca, Bolivian Foreign Minister]:
"I believe that this was an error by U.S. diplomacy. They sent us an international arrest request with the aim of extradition. They believed Mr Snowden would be travelling and they say "in case that Mr Snowden is travelling." We have firmly rejected and returned the request to the U.S. Embassy."

The summit is expected to begin at 2000gmt.