Ecuador returns envoys to Europe


Ecuador’s president says the country has returned its envoys to France, Spain, Portugal and Italy after recalling them for consultation over the grounding of Bolivian President Evo Morales’s plane.

“Ecuador believes that the incident has been settled, “local media quoted President Rafael Correa as saying, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported on Friday.

Venezuela, which also recalled its envoys from a number of European states after the incident, announced on Friday that it was also returning its ambassadors to Europe, but demanded that similar “violations of international law” would not happen again.

Also on Wednesday, Morales said he was returning his ambassadors to the four European countries after they apologized for banning his plane to fly over their air space.

Morales said he was not fully satisfied with the apologies but maintaining respectful relations was important.

On July 2, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy had refused to allow Morales’ plane, which was flying to La Paz from Moscow, to cross their airspace due to false “suspicion” that US surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board.”

Snowden is currently in a transit zone at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow, after the United States revoked his passport to prevent him from travelling further. The American intelligence leaker applied for temporary asylum in Russia last week.

Snowden revealed top secret US government spying programs, under which the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been spying on a global scale.

The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about US espionage activities targeting countries friendly to the US.

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