Print options

August 12, 2013

Kerry: NSA Spying a 'Very Small' Part of Talks in Colombia

by VOA News

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance program was a "very small" part of his talks in Colombia.

Kerry was in Bogota Monday for meetings with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin. He travels to Brazil Tuesday.

Colombian and Brazilian officials were angered that their countries were included in the NSA's efforts to track telephone and Internet communications.

Kerry said the U.S. is engaged in very complex efforts to stop terrorists from killing people in many different places. He said he is confident he was able to explain to the Colombians the legality of the spying and its intentions.

Holguin said she received what she calls the "necessary assurances" that allow Colombia and the U.S. to keep working together on the matter.

Kerry also pledged U.S. support for Colombia's efforts to negotiate an end to the 50-year-long battle with leftist FARC rebels.