France's intelligence official due in Washington over leaked files on US spying
Iran Press TV
Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:39PM
Paris is to send the national intelligence coordinator to the United States over leaked reports showing that Washington was involved in extensive espionage activities against high-ranking French officials.
Didier Le Bret will travel to the United States, a French government spokesman said on Wednesday.
The whistleblower website WikiLeaks released "top secret" documents on Tuesday showing that the US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on two former French presidents, namely Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as the incumbent president, Francois Hollande.
The files published under the heading Espionnage Élysée, a reference to the French presidential palace, are claimed to have been obtained from "directly targeted NSA surveillance of the communications" of the three French presidents as well as French ministers and the ambassador to the US between 2006 and 2012.
Reports said that an emergency meeting has been held in the French presidential palace with members of the country's defense council in attendance.
A statement by the French presidential office after the meeting called the revelations "unacceptable," saying that Paris will follow up on the case. It said Washington must respect its previous promise not to spy on French leaders.
Diplomatic sources also revealed that US Ambassador Jane Hartley has been summoned to meet with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius later on Wednesday.
Officials in the US have yet to comment on the past activity, although they have ensured the espionage did not target Hollande's communications and will not do so in the future.
The NSA was previously known for its extensive espionage activity in Germany, where reports showed that the secret service had for years listened in on Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone conversations. That was followed by other leaked files showing NSA had been spying on major German and European enterprises in direct collaboration with the German intelligence service, BND.
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