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Plane carrying Morales to Mexico denied landing in Ecuador for refueling

Mexico granted the former Bolivian president political asylum on Monday

MOSCOW, November 12. /TASS/. Ecuador officials denied the Gulfstream 550 plane belonging to the Mexican Air Force with former Bolivian President Evo Morales on board the opportunity to fly over its territory or to land for refueling, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Tuesday during a press conference transmitted by the Telesur channel.

"They had to make their way around Ecuador, because they were denied entry to its airspace. Due to this, they were forced to fly over the neutral waters of the Pacific Ocean [on the way to Mexico]," the Mexican top diplomat revealed. He added that due to this, Morales’ arrival in the capital of Mexico had been delayed for an hour. "We expect that the plane carrying Morales will arrive at 11:00 [local time, 20:00 Moscow time — TASS]," Ebrard informed.

Mexico granted Morales asylum on Monday. The Mexican Air Force plane has left Bolivia for Paraguay in the early hours of Tuesday, and, after being granted access from Peru and Brazil to enter their airspace, it resumed the flight to Mexico.

On November 10, Bolivian President Evo Morales announced his resignation, branding the recent developments as a coup d'etat. He stepped down following the demands of the country’s armed forces, opposition and trade unions.

Bolivia's presidential election was held on October 20. The country's Supreme Electoral Court declared that incumbent President Evo Morales won the first round. His main rival, former President Carlos Mesa, refused to recognize Morales' victory. After the results of the election were announced, protests and strikes erupted across the South American country. Morales declared a state of emergency and accused the opposition of attempting to stage a coup.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Monday the government of his country decided to grant political asylum to Morales "for humanitarian reasons."