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'Not the time' to give refuge to Snowden says France

Edward Snowden (AP)
Edward Snowden (AP)

By Associated Press

France's foreign minister has said "it's not the time" to grant a new asylum request from former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Mr Snowden has been living in Russia to escape US prosecution after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programmes.

Asking France for asylum again this week, he argued that "protecting whistleblowers is not a hostile act".

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told CNews television that when Mr Snowden first asked for French asylum in 2013, the government "considered it was not the time".

He added: I don't see what has changed."

Mr Snowden has also sought asylum in several other countries.

His memoir, entitled Permanent Record, was released in about 20 countries this week, including France.

It has been reported that the US government is suing Snowden for his book profits.

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