Bolivia pulls ambassadors from Spain, Italy, France

2013-07-19 23:53:40 GMT2013-07-20 07:53:40(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

LA PAZ, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The Bolivian government Friday " temporarily" recalled its ambassadors to Spain, France and Italy to protest those countries' refusal earlier this month to allow Bolivian President Evo Morales' plane to enter their airspace, a top official said.

"Recalling the ambassadors is a decision that was taken within the framework of the summit of the Southern Common Market ( Mercosur), the bloc that decided to call all its ambassadors to those nations, to protest what happened to President Morales," Bolivian Communications Minister Amanda Davila told reporters.

Mercosur nations, including Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Uruguay, gathered after Morales' plane was denied access to those countries' airspace on July 2 to condemn the European nations for violating international laws on presidential immunity.

The minister however said the move did not mean Bolivia was breaking off diplomatic relations with the European countries.

President Morales met Friday with ambassador Jean Pol Guevara to France, Carmen Almendras to Spain, and Antolin Ayaviri to Italy.

Morales s plane was denied access to those countries on rumors that the plane was carrying U.S. intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden. It made an emergency landing in Vienna, Austria.

All the European nations have offered apologies, though none have officially explained their actions, as Bolivia has demanded.

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