French NSA Surveillance Scandal Jeopardizes Transatlantic Relations

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Allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on millions of French citizens are set to overshadow vital talks on the future of Syria.

Top-ranking politicians from both sides of the Atlantic will come face to face on Tuesday just one day after a report in Le Monde claimed the NSA recorded 70 million phone calls and text messages over a 30-day period.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet with his French counterpart, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, at the meeting of the so-called London 11, which aims to resolve the ongoing crisis in Syria. However, French officials have said that Fabius will also seek to raise the issue of NSA surveillance with Kerry when they meet in the British capital.

France would also like to see the NSA discussed at a meeting of the European Council which will take place on the same day. European officials told FORBES that the French have approached EC President Herman Van Rompuy, who has the final say on the conference agenda, and asked him to table a discussion on the NSA. Coincidentally, the meeting will also discuss the digital economy, focusing on cybersecurity and other key issues.

Kerry said that “protecting the security of our citizens in today’s world is a very complicated, very challenging task” as he arrived in Paris to meet with Arab leaders ahead of the London 11 conference..

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jasperhamill/2013/10/22/french-nsa-surveillance-scandal-jeopardises-transatlantic-relations/