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France’s Hollande speaks to Obama on U.S. spying reports

Published: Updated:

France’s President Francois Hollande expressed on Monday his disapproval of U.S. spying on French citizens in a call with President Barack Obama.

Hollande’s office said in a statement that he had expressed “deep disapproval of these practices, which are unacceptable between friends and allies because they infringe on the privacy of French citizens,” according to Agence France-Presse.

The French president also “asked that all explanations be provided, as well as all information that could be at the disposal of former NSA consultant Edward Snowden.”

The statement also said that the two leaders agreed “to work together to determine the facts and the exact scope of surveillance activities” that were revealed by French newspaper Le Monde, AFP reported.

Hollande and Obama stressed that surveillance operations should be put into a “bilateral framework” and agreed that U.S. and French intelligence agencies would “work together to this effect,” the statement said.

Hollande’s call to Obama comes amid an escalation of tensions over the U.S. eavesdropping on millions of French phone calls.

France’s foreign minister on Monday announced the summoning of the U.S. ambassador over a report that the U.S. National Security Agency had eavesdropped on millions of calls made by French citizens.

Paris-based newspaper Le Monde says that documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden showed that over 70 million French phone records were looked at in a 30-day period.

But the White House on Monday dismissed France’s complaints about the allegations saying “all nations” conduct spying operations.

(With AFP)