Three French Presidents Were Spied By US


Francois Hollande will convene a defence council meeting today after reports claimed the US National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdropped on the past three French presidents.

Three French Presidents Were Spied

Material released by WikiLeaks claims the NSA spied on former presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Mr Hollande.

The alleged spying took place from 2006 until May 2012, the month Mr Hollande took over the presidency from Mr Sarkozy.

French cabinet ministers and the French ambassador to the US were also targeted by NSA agents, according to WikiLeaks.

According to the documents, Mr Sarkozy considered recommencing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks without US involvement and Mr Hollande feared a Greek eurozone exit in 2012.

A presidential aide cited by the AFP news agency confirmed that Mr Hollande will convene a defence council meeting to discuss the claims.

The aide said: “The president has decided to hold a defence council meeting Wednesday morning at 9am to evaluate the nature of the information published by the press on Tuesday evening and to draw useful conclusions.”

US National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement that the US government would not comment on the specifics of the leak.

“As a general matter, we do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose,” he said.

“This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike.”

In 2013, the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden claimed the NSA had been eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mr Hollande said last year that he discussed his concerns about NSA surveillance with President Barack Obama during a visit to the US, and they patched up their differences.

After the disclosures, Mr Obama ordered a wholesale review of NSA spying on allies, after officials suggested that senior White House officials had not approved many operations.

In the wake of the review, US officials said Mr Obama had ordered a halt to spying on the leaders of allied countries.

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