DAKAR (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday he had not spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping or Russian President Vladimir Putin about the U.S. request to extradite former American spy agency contractor Edward Snowden because he "shouldn't have to".
Speaking at a press conference in Senegal, where Obama started a three-country tour of Africa, the U.S. president said normal legal channels should be sufficient to handle Washington's request that Snowden, who left Hong Kong for Russia, be returned.
"I have not called President Xi personally or President Putin personally and the reason is...number one, I shouldn't have to," Obama said.
"Number two, we've got a whole lot of business that we do with China and Russia, and I'm not going to have one case of a suspect who we're trying to extradite suddenly being elevated to the point where I've got to start doing wheeling and dealing and trading on a whole host of other issues," Obama said.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Daniel Flynn and David Lewis)