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Paris demands official explanation from US over wiretapping of French citizens

U.S. ambassador to France summoned to the Foreign Ministry
AP Photo /Francois Mori
AP Photo /Francois Mori

PARIS, October 21. (Itar-Tass) – Speaking on air at the Europe 1 radio station, France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls called information regarding mass wiretapping of the National Surveillance Agency of French citizens “shocking.”

“Information published by Le Monde newspaper [Monday] is shocking; in this regard we will demand an explanation from Washington in the shortest timeframe.

Walls stressed: “France has close ties with United States, a friendly nation, which, among other things, include anti-terrorist efforts. However, if it’s proven that industrial espionage takes place, that high-ranking French officials are under surveillance, that citizens’ private lives are invaded, then this practice is impermissible.” “Espionage conducted by a friendly nation, an allied country, is completely unacceptable,” the Interior Minister reiterated.

Laurent Fabius, France’s Foreign Minister, has urgently summoned the American ambassador to the Ministry in order to receive an explanation regarding allegations.

On Monday Le Monde posted an article on its website, claiming that based on information provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, from December 10, 2012, to January 8, 2013, the NSA tapped into 70,3 million phone calls and text messages.

The newspaper claims that based on Snowden’s information as well as that procured by Le Monde’s own sources indicate that apart from terrorist suspects, French businessmen, politicians and high-ranking public officials were monitored as well