France Warns US Against Snooping; Avoids Conflict

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PARIS – Franceformally toldthe US to stop snooping on thetelephone calls of French citizensbut signalled it wanted tocool a row over the issue.In a breakfast meeting with USSecretary of State John Kerry,France’s Foreign MinisterLaurent Fabius insisted onbeing given a full explanation ofthe latest revelations about acontroversial US spying programme.”He (Fabius) repeated ourdemand for an explanation ofspying practices which are unacceptablebetween partners andwhich must stop,” a spokesmanfor the minister said after thebrief meeting.Despite the robust tone adoptedby the foreign ministry, therewere signs that Paris wants todefuse the row created by revelationsin Le Monde newspaperthat the US National SecurityAgency had monitored morethan 70 million phone call s inFrance between December 10,2012 and January 8 this year.