Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018
ROME

U.S. spying allegations 'unacceptable' says defence minister

English
© ANSA

(see related)
Rome, July 1 - Italy's defense minister said it was
"unacceptable" if reports were confirmed that the United States
spied on the diplomatic offices of the European Union and
several countries, including Italy.
"We have to call things what they are: if we're allies, it
is unacceptable that someone behaves that way," said Mario
Mauro.
Speaking at a forum hosted by Italian daily La Repubblica,
the defence minister suggested the affair could force the EU to
take a bold position.
"Perhaps for the first time we'll see if such a thing as
European foreign policy exists," he said. "Europe tends to grow
up when its back is to the wall".
The European Commission handed European Union foreign chief
Catherine Ashton a mandate earlier Monday to raise the issue of
United States eavesdropping of EU data with US authorities in
Washington and Brussels.
The EC said it expected the US to clear up the affair,
saying it anticipated the US would be "as transparent as the EU
expects from its allies".
After his remarks, Mauro called for calm.
"Given the true friendship that exists between our
countries things should not be rushed," he said.
The suspicions of US spying on EU missions and the
embassies of European countries were based on a report published
Sunday by German weekly Der Spiegel.
It claimed that the US National Security Agency (NSA)
bugged diplomats from allies such as the EU offices in Brussels,
New York and Washington, as well as embassies of countries such
as Italy, Greece and France.
The report was partly based on revelations of American
government secret surveillance leaked by Edward Snowden, a
former NSA contractor.
He is currently seeking asylum in Ecuador but is believed
to still be held up in the Moscow airport after the US revoked
his passport.

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