Plane row: Spain apologises to Bolivia

2013-07-16 07:48
Bolivia's President Evo Morales talking to reporters at Vienna's Schwechat airport. (Hans Punz, AP)

Bolivia's President Evo Morales talking to reporters at Vienna's Schwechat airport. (Hans Punz, AP)

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La Paz - Spain has apologised to Bolivia for refusing to allow President Evo Morales' plane to cross its airspace this month, an incident that became an international diplomatic scandal.

Spanish Ambassador Angel Vazquez delivered the official apology to the Bolivian Foreign Ministry in La Paz on Monday.

Vazquez also made a brief public statement acknowledging an "apology for the obstacle and the hardships caused to the president" on 2-3 July as Morales was returning from a conference in Russia.

Bolivia had denounced the governments of Spain, France, Italy and Portugal for restricting their airspace, which forced Morales' plane to detour to Vienna and re-route the flight during a 13-hour delay.

The Foreign Ministry accused the Europeans of bowing to US pressure to block the plane over unfounded suspicions that intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden might be aboard.

Morales revealed earlier that Spain's ambassador to Austria had attempted to conduct a search of the presidential aircraft after it landed in Vienna.

The incident has frayed Latin American relations with the US and Western Europe.

Read more on:    edward snowden  |  evo morales  |  spain  |  bolivia  |  privacy

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