FM Says Slovenia Would Not Close Airspace to Snowden

09. 07. 2013

FM Says Slovenia Would Not Close Airspace to Snowden

Slovenia would certainly not close its airspace if ex-CIA analyst Edward Snowden were in a plane flying over its territory, Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec told press. He added that Slovenia had not yet received confirmation from the US that it was not a target of an alleged American spying operation.

Erjavec highlighted that US Ambassador to Slovenia Joseph Mussomeli told him last week that the US was not spying on Slovenia. "But he said that he would verify this. We have not yet received an answer," the minister said.


Asked whether Slovenia had received instructions from the EU regarding Snowden, who has leaked information on secret US electronic surveillance and spying programmes, Erjavec said this had not happened.


He said that the fallout of the information leaked by Snowden, which alleged that the US was spying on EU missions in the US and on EU countries, would likely be a topic of next week's meeting of EU foreign ministers.


He said he expected EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to present comprehensive information on the issue at the meeting.



While saying that Slovenia would "certainly" not be closing its airspace to a plane carrying Snowden, who is wanted by the US for leaking secrets, he suggested that it was impossible to speculate where Snowden may try to fly.


Erjavec also said that Snowden could not ask for asylum in Slovenia from a Moscow airport where he is currently thought to be hauled up, as he would have to be in Slovenia to file an asylum request.


The Foreign Ministry summoned US Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli last week for a meeting on the allegations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was conducting spying operations at EU missions in the US and in countries of the EU.


The meeting took place after German weekly Der Spiegel cited documents from Snowden in reporting on 29 June of a US spying operation targeting EU institutions, including the EU Mission in Washington and the EU Mission to the UN in New York.


This was followed last Monday by a story from Britain's The Guardian, which published a secret document from 2010 alleging that the NSA targeted 38 foreign missions in the US using sophisticated bugging and electronic surveillance technology.


Erjavec made his comments today at a press conference dedicated to the activities of the Foreign Ministry in the first half of the year and efforts to draft a new foreign policy strategy.


Source: The Slovenia Times


FM Says Slovenia Would Not Close Airspace to Snowden