QUITO - Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Saturday said the United States asked him not to grant asylum for former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in a "cordial" telephone conversation he held with US Vice President Joe Biden.
Correa said he vowed to respect Washington's opinion in evaluating the request. The Andean nation says it cannot begin processing Snowden's request unless he reaches Ecuador or one of its embassies.
Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking details about US communications surveillance programs, is believed to still be in the Moscow international airport after leaving Hong Kong.
"He communicated a very courteous request from the United States that we reject the (asylum) request," Correa said during his weekly television broadcast, praising Biden's good manners in contrast to "brats" in Congress who had threatened to cut trade benefits over the Snowden issue.