PARIS: The United States must “do everything in its power” to repair relations after reports emerged that it spied on French President Francois Hollande and two of his predecessors, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Wednesday.
“The US should recognise not only the danger that such actions represent for our freedom, but should also do everything in its power — and quickly — to repair the damage they have done to relations… between the United States and France,” Valls told parliament.
He said governments could not be naive about the idea that other countries would pursue their national interests but said there had to be “reciprocal respect for sovereignty”.
Documents released by Wikileaks on Tuesday indicate that the US spied on three French presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Hollande from 2006 to 2012.
“These practices … constitute a very serious violation of the spirit of trust,” Valls said, adding that a new “code of conduct” should be established on questions of intelligence.
He denied widespread comments in the press that France was just as guilty of spying on allies whenever possible.
“No, contrary to certain media speculations, France does not carry out surveillance and targeting of the communications of political leaders of its European partners,” he said.