World News‎ > ‎

Ecuador President Vows "Sovereign" Decision On Snowden

posted 24 Jun 2013, 18:39 by Mpelembe   [ updated 24 Jun 2013, 18:39 ]

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa dismisses international pressure and vows to take a "sovereign" decision on former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden's asylum request.

QUITOECUADOR (JUNE 24, 2013) (REUTERS) - President Rafael Correa vowed on Monday (June 24) that Ecuador's decision on the "complicated" asylum case of fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden would not be swayed by others.

Snowden, 30, whose exposure of secret U.S. surveillance infuriated Washington while making him a champion of civil liberties for others, has requested asylum from the tiny South American nation's leftist government.

His whereabouts remain uncertain after he flew at the weekend from Hong Kong toMoscow.

"It's another complicated week - for a change," Correa said via Twitter in his first comments on a case that has again thrust his tiny Andean nation of 15 million people into the forefront of a global diplomatic tussle and manhunt.

"Rest assured that we will analyse the Snowden case responsibly and take the decision we believe best with absolute sovereignty."

A prominent member of Latin America's left-wing ALBA alliance and close friend ofVenezuela's late socialist leader Hugo ChavezEcuador's Correa, 50, has not flinched in the past from taking on Western powers.

Ecuador is already embroiled in a major dispute with Britain and the United Statesover its sheltering of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at its embassy in London for the past year.

Earlier, Correa's foreign minister said Ecuador was in talks with Russia over Snowden, while it was also reviewing a request from the United States to deny him asylum.