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Venezuela says US Coast Guard plane violated airspace, accuses US of spying on NAM summit

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Venezuela would present a formal protest. Photograph: (Reuters)

WION Caracas, Capital District, Venezuela Sep 20, 2016, 11.56 PM (IST)
Venezuela accused the United States on Tuesday of spying on the 17th edition of the Non-Aligned Movement summit it hosted recently. 

Venezuela alleged its fighter jets had intercepted a US surveillance plane and had forced it to turn back.

"We know a military aircraft carried out flight patterns 130 nautical miles from Margarita island, collecting information, carrying out intelligence operations on the summit," said defence minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez.

He said they detected a US Coast Guard Dash 8 plane near Venezuelan airspace on Friday and Saturday. 

He termed the incident a direct violation of international norms as the US plane failed to announce itself to the Venezuelan military's air traffick controllers.

"Our fighter jets, commanded by the president, flew out, intercepted the aircraft and informed (its crew) of the violation it was committing. The aircraft agreed to return to its base," on the island of Curacao, the minister said.

Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said Venezuela would present a formal protest as the violation underestimated Venezuela's capacity to respond. 

(WION with inputs from agencies)
 
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