After WikiLeaks’ bombshell revelation on how the United States’ National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on French leaders for over a decade, the White House has come ahead to assure France that America is not spying on PM Francois Hollande.
Hours after the WikiLeaks released the NSA documents named ‘Espionnage Élysée’, US National Security Council spokesman Ned Price issued a statement Tuesday evening assuring that the US is “not targeting and will not target the communications of President Hollande.”
“We do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose…This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike. We work closely with France on all matters of international concern, and the French are indispensable partners,” the statement added.
The NSA is in spotlight again after the WikiLeaks’ latest expose which claims that the US wiretapped Hollande and also his two predecessors – Nicolas Sarkozy (2007–2012), and Jacques Chirac (1995–2007).
Meanwhile, the French PM has called an emergency meeting of his country’s defence council for Wednesday morning to evaluate the claims reported by the newspaper Libération and investigative news website Mediapart.
According to WikiLeaks documents, the US spy agency also snooped on French cabinet ministers and the French Ambassador to the United States.
Earlier in 2013, German press was abuzz with reports of NSA spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Agitated over the claims, Merkel had called up Obama, asking for explanations over the matter.
Obama had reportedly apologized to Merkel and said that he was not in the know of the fact that her phone was being monitored, saying that he would have stopped it had he known.