France's Hollande urges Obama to stop espionage on allies

Updated: 2015-06-25 09:33


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PARIS - French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday called on his American counterpart Barack Obama to respect his commitment to stop spying on allies in the wake of new reports on US surveillance on Paris' main leaders.

During a phone conversation, Hollande recalled "the principles that should monitor relations between allies on intelligence matters," the French presidency said.

"President Obama reiterated unequivocally his firm commitment to end the practices that were allowed to happen in the past and that were unacceptable among allies," it added.

French intelligence officials are to fly to Washington soon to reinforce cooperation between the two countries, according to the statement.

In a press release published on Tuesday, WikiLeaks said the US National Security Agency had been spying on French leaders, including President Francois Hollande, ex-Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac, and cabinet ministers for a long time.

WikiLeaks said the documents were intelligence summaries of conversations between French government officials concerning some of the most pressing issues facing France and the international community, including a dispute between the French and US governments over the US spying on France.

"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, adding that "French readers can expect more timely and important revelations in the near future".

In 2013, Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel set "a code of conduct" for Washington that imposed new rules on spying following published reports that the United States tapped the German leader's mobile phone and listened in on millions of French telephone calls.