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Snowden has not responded to Venezuela asylum offer: FM


14:34, July 10, 2013

CARACAS, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said late Tuesday that his government has not yet received confirmation from U.S. National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on whether to take asylum in Venezuela, stressing that the ex-CIA agent is not in the Latin American country.

Jaua said on local TV that the Venezuelan government hopes Snowden can confirm his intention for asylum as soon as possible.

The foreign minister added that if Snowden confirms to seek asylum in Venezuela, he needs to enter the country first.

Venezuela will contact the Russian government on security measures and provide humanitarian asylum in accordance with the international law regardless of the extradition demand from the United States, said Jaua.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday announced the offer of "humanitarian asylum" to Snowden. The president said on Monday that Venezuela has received a request for asylum from Snowden, urging him to decide when to leave Russia.

Snowden arrived at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport on June 23 and is widely believed to be marooned at the airport's transit area. Besides Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia also offered political asylum to the U.S. whistleblower over the weekend.

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