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Edward Snowden wants Russia to grant temporary asylum

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MOSCOW (AP) - A Russian parliament member who was among the figures meeting with Edward Snowden says the NSA leaker plans to seek temporary asylum in Russia.

Snowden met with Human Rights Watch officials at a Moscow airport Friday. Photo: Kenneth Roth/Human Rights Watch

Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov told reporters of Snowden's intentions after he and a dozen other prominent officials and activists met Friday with Snowden in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, where Snowden has been marooned since June 23.

A Human Rights Watch official tells ABC News that while Snowden wants to temporarily stay in Russia, his ultimate goal is to go to Latin America.

Snowden has not been seen in public since arriving in Moscow from Hong Kong, where he fled before his disclosures about American Internet surveillance programs were made public.

Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia have said they would be willing to grant asylum to Snowden. But it is unclear if Snowden could fly from Moscow to any of those countries without passing through the airspace of the United States or allied countries.

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