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article imageFrance issues apology over Bolivian presidential plane incident

By Sami Zaatari     Jul 4, 2013 in World
The French government has issued an apology to Bolivian President Evo Morales after it refused to allow his airplane to cross over French skies, believing that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard the plane.
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot told reports the following:
The foreign minister called his Bolivian counterpart to tell him about France's regrets after the incident caused by the late confirmation of permission for President Morales' plane to fly over (French) territory.
President Evo Morales' plane was denied entry into French airspace after he left Russia, where he was holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The French denial of its airspace forced Morales' plane to reroute to Vienna where the plane was searched by Austrian security officials.
The incident has caused an uproar amongst Bolivian and South American politicians. Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca fiercely condemned the act, and also claimed that the incident had endangered the life of President Morales.
In Bolivia itself, angry protesters demonstrated outside the French embassy, burning the French flag, and demanding the expulsion of the French ambassador.
Wide condemnation was also made by the leaders of Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, and Ecuador.
Bolivia's Vice-President Alvaro Garcia has said that a group of South American leaders were planning to hold a discussion over the incident in the Bolivian city of Cochabamba on Thursday.
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