News / Europe

France Wants US Spying Allegations Put on European Summit Agenda

French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (R) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Paris, October 22, 2013.
French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius (R) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Paris, October 22, 2013.
Reuters
France is pushing to put allegations of spying by the United States against its European allies on the agenda of a summit Thursday of European leaders in Brussels, said Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Describing the allegations in Le Monde newspaper of mass surveillance of French citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency as “serious” and “shocking,” Ayrault said Europe needed to band together to negotiate with the United States.

“President Francois Hollande has asked that the topic be added to the summit agenda. It is not only a French question but a European one,” Ayrault told parliament on Tuesday. “We need to protect ourselves and must demand that new rules are put in place.”

Washington's European allies have voiced mixed feelings about the reports of extensive spying by the NSA since details of the alleged programs began to surface in June.

In Germany there were protests about the affair, but Chancellor Angela Merkel has not been particularly outspoken in her criticism of Washington.

It remains to be seen whether France's EU partners will agree to a formal discussion of the allegations in light of the Le Monde report.

The paper said on Monday that the NSA recorded 70.3 million items of French telephone data between December 10, 2012, and January 8, 2013, and collected tens of thousands of French phone records.

The targets appeared to be individuals suspected of links to terrorism, but also people tied to French business or politics, the paper said.

France's government summoned the U.S. ambassador over the report and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the allegations with Hollande by phone. Obama acknowledged “legitimate questions for our friends and allies about how these capabilities are employed”.

There is little consensus among EU member states on whether to confront the U.S. on the issue given that most of them cooperate closely with Washington on intelligence issues.

The October 24-25 summit is expected to focus on ways to foster the digital economy. A copy of draft conclusions for the summit seen by Reuters does not mention U.S. surveillance or the European response to it. The draft was dated October 21 and could still be modified.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid