Spain apologizes to Bolivia in Snowden saga

Spain apologizes to Bolivia in Snowden saga
US fugitive leaker Edward Snowden (C) meets rights activists, including Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks (L), in Moscow on July 12th. Photo: Tanya Lokshina/Human Rights Watch/AFP
Spain on Monday voiced regret at its diplomatic row with Bolivia, sparked when President Evo Morales' plane was blocked from Spanish airspace over suspicions US fugitive and intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was on the jet.

"Spain deeply regrets this and is sorry that it happened. We offer our apology and consider the matter closed," Spain's Ambassador to La Paz Miguel Angel Vasquez said after delivering a written note to the Foreign Ministry.

Bolivia has joined Venezuela and Nicaragua in offering asylum to Edward Snowden, the former IT contractor for the US National Security Agency who publicized details of US surveillance programs and is now on the run from espionage charges.

Earlier this month, during a flight home from Moscow, European authorities diverted Morales's plane to Austria and searched it after rumors he had Snowden on board.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua called the incident "an attack against President Morales's life," echoing earlier claims by Bolivia itself.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff expressed "indignation" over the treatment of Morales, calling it a "provocation" that concerned "all of Latin America."

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