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Hollande: Obama ‘clarified things’ on spying issue

February 11, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — French President Francois Hollande said he and President Barack Obama “clarified things” about revelations of U.S. spying in Europe and “mutual trust has been restored.”

“That mutual trust must be based on respect for each other’s country but also based on protection, protection of private life, of personal data, the fact that any individual, in spite of technological progress, can be sure that he’s not being spied on. These are principles that unite us,” Hollande said at a joint news conference with Obama.

Obama said there is no country with which the United States has “a no-spy agreement” but that Washington endeavors to protect privacy rights as it collects foreign intelligence.

Obama said the United States and its allies remain concerned about specific potential terrorist networks that could attack and kill innocent people. He said the U.S. will have to maintain a robust intelligence gathering effort, but says it will respect privacy.

The Obama administration has come under severe criticism from allies in Europe and elsewhere following revelations that their leaders had been subject to U.S. spying.

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