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Obama promises to end Francois Hollande spying after Wikileaks revelations

Published 24/06/2015

Francois Hollande spoke to Obama after the release of WikiLeaks documents about NSA intercepts
Francois Hollande spoke to Obama after the release of WikiLeaks documents about NSA intercepts
WikiLeaks: The NSA spied on French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande. The website published 'Espionnage Élysée' documents on Tuesday. Image via: Twitter @wikileaks

French President Francois Hollande says he has spoken with President Barack Obama about revelations of US eavesdropping on French leaders.

He added that Mr Obama reiterated promises to stop spying tactics considered "unacceptable between allies".

Mr Hollande said in a statement that the two spoke by telephone on Wednesday after the release of WikiLeaks documents about NSA intercepts of conversations involving the French president and his two predecessors between 2006 and 2012.

Mr Obama made a similar pledge after Edward Snowden revealed the extent of NSA surveillance powers in 2013.

Mr Obama and Mr Hollande discussed "the principles that should govern relations between allies in the domain of intelligence," the French president's statement added.

On Tuesday Wikileaks revealed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on French presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande in 2006-12.

In a press release WikiLeaks announced that is had began publishing what it calls 'Espionnage Élysée', a collection of top secret intelligence reports and technical documents from the NSA.

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said he was confident the documents were authentic, noting that WikiLeaks' previous mass disclosures have proven to be accurate.

"While the German disclosures focused on the isolated fact that senior officials were targeted by US intelligence, WikiLeaks' publication today provides much greater insight into US spying on its allies, including the actual content of intelligence products deriving from the intercepts, showing how the US spies on the phone calls of French leaders and ministers for political, economic and diplomatic intelligence," WikiLeaks said.

The most recent document from May 22, 2012, days before Francois Hollande took office.

It reveals that the French leader "approved holding secret meetings in Paris to discuss the eurozone crisis, particularly the consequences of a Greek exit from the eurozone".

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: "The French people have a right to know that their elected government is subject to hostile surveillance from a supposed ally.

"We are proud of our work with leading French publishers Liberation and Mediapart to bring this story to light. French readers can expect more timely and important revelations in the near future."

US State Department Spokesman John Kirby said: "We do not comment on the veracity or content of leaked documents." France has made no comment.

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