Brazil says it will not grant asylum to Snowden

Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota speaks during news conference after a meeting with Uruguay's Foreign Minister Luis Almagro (not seen) at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia July 9, 2013. "We will not grant asylum," to the US fugitive, Fo
Brazil's Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota speaks during news conference after a meeting with Uruguay's Foreign Minister Luis Almagro (not seen) at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia July 9, 2013. "We will not grant asylum," to the US fugitive, Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said after talks with his Uruguayan counterpart Luis Almagro in Brasilia. -- PHOTO:REUTERS

BRASïLIA (AFP) - Brazil on Tuesday turned down an asylum request made by rogue US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden while other Latin American countries have offered to take him in.

"We will not grant asylum," to the US fugitive, Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said after talks with his Uruguayan counterpart Luis Almagro in Brasilia.

"For now, there is a search for a solution to the situation of Mr Snowden who, as far as I know, is in Moscow," he added.

In apparent limbo in Moscow, Snowden has applied for asylum in 27 countries as he tries to evade American justice for disclosing a vast programme of US worldwide electronic surveillance.

The 30-year-old former National Security Agency contractor has only won a sympathetic ear from some leftist Latin American countries, including Venezuela.

The daily O Globo has this week been publishing a series of reports on US electronic espionage operations in Brazil and Latin America, based on documents leaked by Snowden.

It notably said the NSA spied on Brazilian residents and companies as well as people traveling in Brazil.

Washington also maintained a base in Brasilia to intercept foreign satellite communications, it added.

The daily also published an NSA document dated September 2010 which seemed to indicate the Brazilian embassy in Washington and the Brazilian mission to the UN in New York were targeted by the agency.

Patriota said his government was still awaiting a "formal response" from Washington to its request for "explanations." President Dilma Rousseff on Monday directed federal agencies to investigate the reports and stressed that if substantiated, they would constitute a "violation of (our) sovereignty."