France "regrets" holding up Bolivian president's plane
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Wednesday expressed "regret" for the country's delay in granting Bolivian President Evo Morales permission to use French airspace Tuesday.
The Foreign Ministry in Paris said that Fabius phoned his Bolivian counterpart David Choquehuanca to express France's regret for "the delay" in issuing the overflight authorization, which he said was related to a mix-up over the plane's owner.
There had "naturally, never been the intention to refuse access to our airspace to the plane of President Morales, who is always welcome in this country," Fabius was quoted as saying.
France, along with Portugal, Italy and Spain were named by Bolivia as having initially barred the plane over false rumours that US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden was on board.