OAS condemns incident involving Bolivian president's plane in Europe

08:26 | Lima, Jul. 10 (ANDINA).

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) has adopted a resolution expressing the solidarity of its member states with Bolivian President Evo Morales regarding the recent incident involving his official aircraft in Europe.

Last week, Portugal, France, Spain and Italy blocked their airspace and diverted the plane carrying President Morales from Moscow to La Paz over suspicions that U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden was on board.

In the resolution, the member states condemned actions against the inviolability of Heads of State and urged the European countries involved to provide explanations and apologies.

The text, adopted by consensus in a special meeting of the Council convened at the request of Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela, resolves "to condemn actions that violated basic rules and principles of international law such as the inviolability of Heads of State."

The document also resolves "to strongly call upon the governments of France, Portugal, Italy and Spain to provide the necessary explanations and apologies about the events involving the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales, as well as the corresponding apologies."

Moreover, the resolution reaffirms the "full validity of the principles, rules, and international customs governing diplomatic relations among states," and calls on the parties involved to "continue respectful and constructive dialogue, under the rules of international law and the mechanisms for the peaceful settlement of disputes." The text includes footnotes from the United States and Canada.

During the special meeting, OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza said he feels "a great indignation and immense solidarity in response to the aggression suffered by a leader of Latin America and the Caribbean. What happened on July 2 cannot be qualified as a commonplace incident. It is a serious offense to a democratic President of this region."

"It is very clear that this is an event that goes beyond the explanations that have been given here," said the Secretary General. "With all due respect to my European Observer friends, with all the affection that we have for them, there is a serious matter here that has not been clarified."

The incident, said the leader of the hemispheric institution, "leaves a wound.” "And the best way to heal that wound, to mend that wound, is to know what really happened, what really took place," continued the Secretary General. "Where did this news come from that Mr. Snowden was on the plane? Why was it believed?" The best way to clear everything up, he added, "is through transparency."

The Chair of the Permanent Council and Permanent Representative of Paraguay to the OAS, Martin Sannemann, expressed on behalf of the Council condolences to Canada over the railroad accident of July 6 in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, and to the United States over the deaths of 19 firefighters in Arizona. Also, the Chair of the Council congratulated Argentina on the occasion of its independence day on July 9.

During the special meeting of the Council, the representatives of Nicaragua, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Panama, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Canada, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Colombia, El Salvador and Haiti all took part, as did the Permanent Observers of Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and the European Union.


Published: 7/10/2013