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Italy, France reject asylum request from Snowden


11:30, July 05, 2013

Italy and France have rejected asylum requests from fugitive former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Emma Bonino, Italian Foreign Minister, said, "Our country received an asylum request, at 10 o’clock in the morning, two days ago, via a fax to the Italian embassy in Moscow. According to Italian regulations, like other European regulations, the request for international protection has to be directly presented at the border, or within the national territory. Consequently for us and for other countries, there are no judicial conditions to accept such a request, which, according to the government, cannot be considered even at a political level."

Manuel Valls, French Interior Minister, said, "In the name of our friendship, we owe each other honesty, we must say things clearly, directly and frankly. This is why the French president asked the American government for clear and precise explanations and, in a brief time, concerning espionage, the word is the right one, of our diplomatic missions or activities."

Later Thursday, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he had received the request via the French Embassy in Moscow, but it had been rejected after taking into account a legal analysis of Snowden’s situation.
Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino also said that Italy cannot accept an asylum request from Snowden, because "there are no legal or political conditions to do so". She also criticized the American spy program, saying that unless the US comes up with "convincing responses," Italy would consider the "diffuse practices" reported by Snowden to be unjustified.
She said as far as Italy could tell, there was no evidence that its embassy in Washington had been spied on.

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