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Snowden Case Raises Tensions Between US and EU

European Union leaders have agreed that free trade talks with the United States should be held in tandem with discussions about U.S. surveillance.

The EU leaders announced their decision on Wednesday, in the wake of media reports that Washington had been spying on the EU.

Also Wednesday, EU justice chief Viviane Reding said she is seeking additional information on the alleged spying. She said that for the EU - U.S. trade agreements to succeed there needs to be mutual trust.

In June, Germany's Der Spiegel magazine published reports of alleged spying that it said were based on information from fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. for espionage, has been in an airport transit area in Russia's capital Moscow since fleeing Hong Kong last month.

On Wednesday, Bolivian President Evo Morales was allowed to resume a flight home from Russia after Austria diverted his plane on suspicion it was carrying Snowden.

While in Moscow, Mr. Morales had said he would consider granting Snowden asylum if a request is made.

President Morales was allowed to resume his flight after Austrian authorities searched his plane.

However, Bolivia's U.N. envoy accused Austria of "kidnapping" President Evo Morales and bowing to U.S. pressure.

Also Wednesday, demonstrators in Bolivia threw stones and burned the French flag at the French embassy in La Paz to protest France's decision to deny Mr. Morales' plane permission to enter its airspace.

French President Francois Hollande said there was initially conflicting information about who was on board the plane but that he had opened his country's airspace as soon as he knew Mr. Morales was on board.



WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that has supported Snowden, says it has submitted asylum requests on Snowden's behalf.

However, Snowden's prospects for asylum are narrowing. Several of the at least 19 countries he is considering have either said he cannot request asylum until he is on their soil or have rejected him outright.

On Tuesday, a Russian official said Snowden dropped his bid for asylum in Russia after President Vladimir Putin said he could stay in the country only if he stopped leaking sensitive U.S. intelligence.


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