‘Not acceptable.’ France asks United States and Denmark for clarification on allegations of espionage – POLITICO

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PARIS – France has asked the United States and Denmark for details of their espionage practices after revelations that Danish secret agents may have helped Washington spy on European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“There is no space between us for suspicion, which is why what we expect is clarity. We have asked our Danish and American partners to share all the relevant information, ”French President Emmanuel Macron said at a joint press conference with Merkel on Monday afternoon.

According to reports from several European media, the Danish secret service helped the United States National Security Agency spy on European officials, including Merkel, between 2012 and 2014.

Macron said France’s request relates to past but also current espionage practices.

“If these revelations are correct, I want to say that it is not acceptable among the allies, very clearly. It is even less acceptable among European allies and partners, so I am committed to having ties between Americans and Europeans based on trust, ”Macron said. “There is no space between us for suspicion.”

Merkel echoed Macron’s comments at the press conference, which took place after a joint Franco-German Cabinet meeting.

“I can only subscribe to the words of Emmanuel Macron,” she said. “We discussed these things a long time ago in connection with the NSA. Our position on the investigation of the issues at that time has not changed. We rely on relationships of trust and this who was right then is now. I was reassured that Denmark too – the Danish government, the defense minister – has made it very clear what they think about these things, and in that regard, I see a good basis not only for clearing up the facts, but also for truly building relationships based on trust.

Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen told public broadcaster DR that “the systematic interception of close allies is unacceptable”.

US President Joe Biden was vice president at the time of the reported espionage. He will meet his European counterparts in mid-June for a series of high-level summits, starting with the G7 in the UK, followed by a NATO summit in Brussels and a US-EU summit. .

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