News Column

Bolivia Threatens Closure of U.S. Embassy Over Flight Diversion

July 5, 2013

Bolivian President Evo Morales threatened to close the U.S. embassy in La Paz late Thursday due to what he said was US involvement in his plane's forced diversion to Austria earlier this week, local news reports said.

Speaking to supporters in Cochabamba, where a number of South American leaders were meeting to show solidarity with the Bolivian president after his delayed return home, Morales was quoted as saying "We do not need the US embassy."

A Bolivian Air Force jet carrying Morales from Moscow was forced to divert to Vienna after several European countries denied the plane access to their airspace. Morales said the US orchestrated the incident due to "unfounded suspicions" that US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was on board.

Morales called the incident an insult to Bolivia and Latin America as a whole. It later became clear that Snowden, who has been stuck in diplomatic limbo at the Moscow airport, was not on the flight.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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