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Brazil denies Snowden asylum

Brazil said Tuesday it had no intention to grant political asylum to U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden who disclosed a vast program of U.S. world electronic surveillance.

"We will not answer to the asylum request. It will not be granted," Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said.

Snowden has applied for asylum in 27 countries as the former National Security Agency contractor seeks a safe haven after having fled the United States where he faces three felony charges.

The 30-year-old, who now remains in limbo in a Moscow airport, cannot leave the airport without a travel document after the United States revoked his passport.

Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua have each offered to grant him asylum.

On Sunday, local daily O Globo reported that Brazil was a priority target of the surveillance program, and that millions of e-mails and phones calls of Brazilian citizens were monitored by the U.S. government.

The paper also reported Monday that Washington maintained a satellite intelligence collection base in Brasilia jointly operated "at least until 2002 by the NSA and the Central Intelligence Agency."

Patriota said Brazil will propose to the United Nations and the International Telecommunication Union to develop clear regulations on safeguarding people's privacy and national sovereignty.

[Source: Xinhua, Rio de Janeiro, 09Jul13]

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