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US reassures France to end spying on French presidents

Posted June. 26, 2015 08:41,   


As there is signs of diplomatic row after website WikiLeaks released documents that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has spied on former French Presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy as well as Francois Hollande from 2006 to 2012, the U.S. started reassuring France.

On Wednesday, a day after the whistleblower’s leak, the U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly called French President Francois Hollande to admit the WikiLeak’s disclosure and reaffirmed the U.S.’ commitment to end spying tactics. "President Obama reiterated unequivocally his firm commitment ... to end the practices that may have happened in the past and that are considered unacceptable among allies," said the French president`s office in the statement on the same day. According to the Elysee Palace, Obama reiterated to his French counterpart that Washington will not target the communications of the French president.

Before having conversation with Obama, Hollande held an emergency meeting of his ministers and raised strong opposition to the U.S. spying tactics, saying that France would not tolerate any acts that threaten its security. U.K. daily Guardian criticized that a vaguely worded statement by the White House failed to clarify whether the NSA was still bugging the conversations and emails of other French diplomats and officials.

While diplomatic tension was on the rise, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange urged France to take legal action over Washington`s snooping and accused the U.S. of playing word games. Speaking on a local TV station TF1 on Wednesday, Assange urged France to go further than Germany and said the NSA has continued spying on former and current French Presidents even after wiretapping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel was revealed. Assange called for launching a parliamentary inquiry into the foreign surveillance activities and referring the matter to the prosecutor-general for prosecution. He also added what is to come is much more significant than what the website has published so far.

Before this in 2013, the German prosecutors had carried out a probe into an allegation revealed by former NSA staff Edward Snowden that NSA had been wiretapped German Chancellor`s phone over 10 years since 2002. But later, the prosecutors dropped the investigation due to a lack of hard evidence.