French FM says trust undermined by U.S. spying claims

(REUTERS) – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday that it was out of question to accept U.S. spying on French presidents.

Transparency lobby group WikiLeaks’ latest revelations of espionage among Western allies come after it emerged 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.

The revelations were first reported by French daily Liberation and on news website Mediapart, which said the NSA spied on presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande during the period of at least 2006 until May 2012.

“I would say that we would like things to be laid out concretely. It is out of the question that we accept that the president of the republic, that three successive presidents of the republic, be wiretapped, including in their private conversations, and anyone can understand that. So that’s the watchword and that’s how it should be between allies, there should be a certain degree of trust. When this kind of practice develops, it undermines trust and this is something that should be taken very seriously,” Fabius said.

The French Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador to discuss the matter.