Obama tells Hollande NSA stopped spying on French officials

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US President Barack Obama (R) and French President Francois Hollande take part in a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Germany on June 8, 2015. (AFP photo)

US President Barack Obama has reassured his French counterpart Francois Hollande that Washington is no longer spying on him following leaks that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had spied on the last three French presidents.

Obama’s phone conversation with Hollande came after the whistleblower website WikiLeaks revealed on Tuesday that the NSA had wiretapped former French presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, along with Hollande.

"President Obama reiterated unequivocally his firm commitment ... to end the practices that may have happened in the past and that are considered unacceptable among allies," the French president's office said.

The revelations were first reported in the French news organizations of Liberation and Mediapart, which said the NSA spied on the presidents from at least 2006, when George W. Bush served as US president.

"The French people have a right to know that their elected government is subject to hostile surveillance from a supposed ally," WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in the statement, adding that more "important revelations" would soon follow.

The latest revelations of espionage among European allies came after it emerged that the NSA had spied on Germany and German intelligence agencies had cooperated with the NSA to spy on officials and companies elsewhere in Europe.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the extent of the agency’s spying activities in June 2013.

He leaked classified intelligence documents showing massive collections of phone records of Americans and foreign nationals as well as political leaders around the world, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.



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