Official Statements From the French Government
Telephone conversation between the President of the Republic and Mr Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, October 21, 2013
On Monday evening, the President spoke on the telephone to President Obama in the wake of revelations published by the Le Monde newspaper about recordings of telephone data in France by the American intelligence services.
The Head of State expressed his profound disapproval of these practices, which are unacceptable between allies and friends, since they violate the privacy of French citizens. He has asked for full explanations to be given, and for all information former NSA consultant Edward Snowden might have.
The two heads of state agreed to work together to establish the facts and the precise scope of the surveillance activities revealed by Le Monde.
They stressed that intelligence-gathering operations had to be regulated, inter alia in a bilateral framework, in order effectively to further the only legitimate battle, i.e. the battle against terrorism.
The two presidents agreed that the French and American intelligence services would cooperate together in this respect./.
Excerpts from the daily press briefing by Romain Nadal, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman, october 22nd 2013
Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, met this morning with his American counterpart, Mr. John Kerry. He reiterated to him our request for an explanation regarding the unacceptable spying practices between partners which must stop.
The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the situation in Syria ahead of the meeting of the Friends of Syria "Core Group" taking place today in London, in which both ministers will participate. The goal of this meeting is to discuss in more detail the parameters of a genuine transition process for Syria, in which Bashar al-Assad should have no role to play. Indeed, France supports the swift organization of the Geneva II conference, the goal of which is the establishment of a transitional government exercising full executive powers, including those of the presidency. It is in this spirit that we hope that the members of the "Core Group" will reaffirm and strengthen their support for the Syrian National Coalition.
Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, October 21, 2013
The American ambassador was summoned to the Quai d’Orsay this morning because of the NSA’s massive interception of communications in France last December and January. Who received him and what can you tell us about that meeting? Will Mr. Fabius raise this issue with his American counterpart during their meeting on Tuesday morning?
The American ambassador was received by the Quai d’Orsay’s chief of staff this morning. As the foreign minister indicated, we reminded him that such practices between partners are totally unacceptable and that he must assure us that they are no longer going on. We asked for a prompt and tangible response to our concerns.
As soon as the first revelations emerged, we proposed to our EU partners that our negotiations with the United States include a data-protection track. At our request, a US-EU working group was therefore established in July. It has already met twice. The European Council of October 24 and 25, which will largely be devoted to digital challenges, will deal with this issue at the highest level, among heads of state and government. The digital economy cannot function properly without an effective guarantee of personal data.
As for your second question, the meeting between Mr. Fabius and his American counterpart tomorrow will deal mainly with Syria and regional issues, but this topic will also be raised.
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