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article imageUS VP asked President Rafael Correa to reject Snowden asylum

By Anne Sewell     Jun 29, 2013 in World
US Vice President Joe Biden has personally asked Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, to reject the asylum request by Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower.
Reuters reports that President Correa said during his regular Saturday television broadcast from Quito that Vice President Biden has asked him in a "cordial" telephone conversation to reject the request.
The White House has confirmed that Biden contacted Correa earlier on Friday morning to discuss the matter.
However, President Correa said that while he vowed to respect Washington's opinion in making deliberations about the asylum request, he reiterated that there can be no decision made on Snowden's asylum request unless and until the whistleblower is on Ecuadorian territory.
President Correa praised Biden's good manners, which he contrasted to "brats" in the US Congress who had threatened cuts to Ecuador's trade benefits over the Snowden issue.
According to Correa, Biden initiated the phone call. During his television broadcast, Correa said, "He communicated a very courteous request from the United States that we reject the (asylum) request."
Speaking of Snowden, "The moment that he arrives, if he arrives, the first thing is we'll ask the opinion of the United States, as we did in the Assange case with England," Correa said. "But the decision is ours to make."
However, at the same time, Correa rebuked the Obama administration for hypocrisy, speaking of the case of two bankers, brothers Roberto and William Isaias, whom Ecuador is seeking to extradite from the U.S.
"Let's be consistent," Correa said. "Have rules for everyone, because that is a clear double-standard here."
Meanwhile Snowden remains in the transit area of Russia’s Sheremetyevo Airport, where he arrived after he fled Hong Kong last weekend.
Meanwhile the Snowden/NSA debacle is causing much embarrassment to the US, including a new scandal in which the German Magazine Der Spiegel is reporting that the NSA bugged European Union diplomatic offices and gained access to a EU internal computer network, as reported on Digital Journal on Saturday.
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