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Eavesdropping network

Published on July 2, 2013
Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic

Morlaix, July 1, 2013

The press has revealed that an eavesdropping network run by a United States department was allegedly established to monitor the communications – or more – of the European Union and even of our own embassy. I’ve therefore asked the Foreign Minister to immediately contact his counterpart, John Kerry, to obtain a full explanation and full information. Likewise, there will be a meeting between the Foreign Minister and the United States Ambassador, to make it known and emphasize that we cannot tolerate this kind of behaviour between partners and allies. So we’re asking for confirmation or denial; we don’t want to prejudge, but there’s already enough evidence for us to demand a full explanation.

What consequences will have to be drawn? Firstly, that this should cease as soon as possible – perhaps I should say immediately. Secondly, that we can have no negotiations, no transactions in any field until those guarantees are obtained – for France, but it applies to the whole European Union, and perhaps I should say all the United States’ partners. We’re well aware there are systems that must carry out monitoring, particularly for the fight against terrorism. But I don’t think such a risk exists in our embassies or in the European Union./.

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