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European countries pressing US for clarification

English.news.cn   2013-07-02 14:52:42            

By CCTV correspondent Sandra Gathmann

BEIJING, July 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Documents released by Edward Snowden indicate that the US has been spying on diplomatic offices in Brussels and embassies inside the US. And now EU countries are asking for an answer. has more in Brussels.

The news came as a shock to many countries here in Europe, who are now pressing the US for answers. In the latest leak from a batch of documents released by the runaway CIA agent Edward Snowden - a report claims US intelligence services bugged several diplomatic offices in Brussels and embassies inside the United States. The evidence was compiled in an article published by a German magazine over the weekend, prompting outrage among several EU officials.

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, European Commission Spokeswoman, said, "These are are disturbing news if proven true. They demand full clarification and as soon as the media reports about alleged spying and eavesdropping on EU premises and delegations were made known, the Commission asked the European External action service to immediately raise the matter with the US authorities in Washington DC and in Brussels to verify the veracity of these reports.

There was particular shock in Berlin, where US President Obama had recently given a speech about the countries’ special partnership…with the leak suggesting that Germany was the most spied on European country - a target of over half a billion tapped phone calls emails and messages every month.

Steffen Seibert, German Government Spokesman, said, "we must say very clearly that eavesdropping on friends is unacceptable - it is a no go. We’re not in the Cold War anymore."

While the news follows earlier revelations of the US’s extensive surveillance program known as PRISM, these latest reports have further soured EU-US relations and European governments have indicated that investigations are being launched and criminal charges may be considered… meanwhile Washington diplomats have indicated they are discussing the issue with their European counterparts on a bilateral basis.

(Source: cntv.cn)

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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