France calls for common EU stand on US spying claims

2nd July 2013, Comments 0 comments

French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday called for the European Union to take a common stand over allegations of Washington spying on its allies.

"Europe must have a coordinated, common position on the requirements we need to come up with and the explanations we must ask for," Hollande said as he met his Lithuanian counterpart Dalia Grybauskaite, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, in Paris.

Allegations that the US National Security Agency (NSA) bugged European offices and embassies have sparked widespread concern in Europe, with Hollande on Monday warning that they threatened talks due to start next week on a crucial EU-US free trade pact.

Hollande also said France had not received an official request for asylum from fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor behind the spying allegations.

Paris has "not yet received any particular request from Mr. Snowden," Hollande said, refusing to comment further.

WikiLeaks said Monday that Snowden had submitted asylum requests to 21 countries including France.

© 2013 AFP

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