Reports that the US National Intelligence Agency, aided by Denmark, spied on top European politicians including Angela Merkel are “extremely serious” if true, the French secretary of state for European affairs has said.
“It is extremely serious, we must verify if our EU partners, Danes, have committed errors or mistakes in their cooperation with the American services… And then on the American side, see if indeed there was listening, spying on politicians,” Clement Beaune said in an interview with the France Info radio network.
The statement comes a day after European media reported that the US National Intelligence Agency allegedly spied on European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (who previously served as minister of foreign affairs), with the help of Denmark, from 2012 to 2014. According to Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio, the US National Security Agency (NSA) tapped into Danish telecommunications cables to spy on officials in Germany, Sweden, Norway, and France. The Danish military intelligence services are said to have helped the US.
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The French secretary of state for European affairs said the situation could have “consequences in terms of cooperation” with the United States.
We are not in a world of Care Bears, so this kind of behavior, unfortunately, can happen, and we will verify it. Between allies, there must be trust, a minimum cooperation, so these potential facts are serious.
Beaune added he did not know the identity of the French officials who were allegedly spied on.
Danish Defense Minister Trine Bramsen declined to comment on what she called “speculation” about intelligence matters in the media, according to Reuters. The Danish Defense Intelligence Service, as well as the US’ Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the NSA, declined to comment on the media report to the news agency.
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