Obama assures Francois Hollande the U.S. isn’t spying on him

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The White House says President Barack Obama has told French President Francois Hollande that the U.S. isn’t targeting his communications.
The White House says President Barack Obama has told French President Francois Hollande that the U.S. isn’t targeting his communications.

U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed in a phone call with his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Wednesday Washington’s commitment to end spying practices deemed “unacceptable” by its allies.

The presidents’ conversation, announced by Hollande’s office, came after transparency lobby group WikiLeaks revealed on Tuesday that U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had spied on the last three French presidents.

The latest revelations of espionage among Western allies came after it emerged that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had spied on Germany and that Germany’s own BND intelligence agency had cooperated with the NSA to spy on officials and companies elsewhere in Europe.

 “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,” the French president’s office said.

Hollande had earlier held an emergency meeting of his ministers and army commanders and the U.S. ambassador was summoned to the foreign ministry.

“France will not tolerate actions that threaten its security and the protection of its interests,” an earlier statement from the president’s office said, adding it was not the first time allegations of U.S. spying on French interests had surfaced.

A senior French intelligence official will travel to the United States to discuss the matter and strengthen cooperation between the two countries, Hollande’s office said.

The documents, which included the cell phone of one of the presidents, included summaries of conversations between French officials on the global financial crisis, the future of the European Union, ties between Hollande’s administration and Merkel’s government.

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