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Americas

Merkel, Hollande to discuss NSA snooping revelations

media French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel Reuters/Thomas Peter

French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were set to discuss revelations of US spying on their countries on the sidelines of the European Union summit in Brussels Thursday. The US ambassador to Berlin was summoned to Germany's foreign affairs ministry over German government fears that Merkel's mobile phone was bugged by the US's National Security Agency (NSA).

"This meeting, which Madame Merkel requested, was not organised with this in mind but they will obviously talk about it so as to coordinate their reactions," a French diplomatic source to ld the AFP news agency.

The latest revelations of NSA snooping in France, Germany and Italy were expected to spark lively reactions at the EU summit on Thursday and Friday.

After Paris protested to Washington over revelations in Le Monde newspaper that the NSA monitored millions of phone communications in France, the German government announced Wednesday that it had reason to believe that the chancellor's mobile had been bugged.

Merkel demanded an explanation from US President Barack Obama, calling the practice "unacceptable", if it had taken place.

Holladne on Wednesday called for "bilateral cooperation" between the French and American secret services and, according to the French government, Obama agreed to the proposal.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has called on the EU to toughen its laws on data protection, a proposal she has been pushing for the last two years.

Reding is now counting on France to back her plan, which has so far been blocked by opposition from the UK, The Netherland and Ireland, according to Le Monde.

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