White House spokesman Jay Carney on Monday rejected Hong Kong's assertion that it allowed Edward Snowden to leave because the U.S. request for his arrest and extradition was not legally complete.
"All the appropriate steps were taken," he said. "All the appropriate communications were made with Hong Kong authorities.
"We see no reason, or no justification for the failure to provisionally arrest Mr. Snowden in Hong Kong by Hong Kong authorities in accordance with our negotiated agreement."
Carney also stated that the incident will hurt U.S.-Chinese relations.
"We are just not buying that this is a technical decision by Hong Kong immigration officials," he said. "When it comes to our relations with Hong Kong and China, we see this as a setback."
As for relations with Moscow, where Snowden flew from Hong Kong, Carney said, "We have a strong cooperative relationship with the Russians on law enforcement matters.
"We expect the Russian government to look at all the options and to expel Mr. Snowden back to the United States."
Carney's remarks echo those made in a statement issued by the National Security Council on Monday suggesting that the U.S. is extremely angry about Snowden's departure from Hong Kong.
"We are disappointed by the decision of the authorities in Hong Kong to permit Mr. Snowden to flee despite the legally valid U.S. request to arrest him for purposes of his extradition under the U.S. Hong Kong Surrender Agreement, said NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden
She continued, "We have registered our strong objections to the authorities in Hong Kong as well as to the Chinese government through diplomatic channels and noted that such behavior is detrimental to U.S.-Hong Kong and U.S.-China bilateral relations."
Hayden also called on Russia to cooperate, saying, "We expect the Russian government to look at all options available to expel Mr. Snowden back to the U.S. to face justice for the crimes with which he is charged."
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