Wednesday, October 30, 2013
MADRID (AP) — Spain's intelligence chief will address parliament over allegations the country was a target for surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency, the prime minister said Wednesday.
Mariano Rajoy spoke a day after NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander told a U.S. House Intelligence panel that millions of telephone records of European citizens were swept up as part of a NATO program to protect the alliance. Alexander said, however, the U.S. didn't collect the European records alone.
Up to now, Spain has insisted it is unaware of any U.S. spying.
Speaking in parliament, Rajoy didn't refer to Alexander's comments, but said Spain was taking the allegations of U.S. spying seriously. He said such activity, if confirmed, is "inappropriate and unacceptable between partners."
Rajoy said National Intelligence Center chief Felix Sanz Roldan would address the issue in a closed-door session of parliament's official secrets commission. He didn't say when.
Opposition lawmakers urged Rajoy to press the U.S. for explanations and to clarify if Spain had helped the NSA and whether he had any part in it.
Spain's El Mundo newspaper published two new documents Wednesday based on leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden which the paper said showed that Spain and other countries cooperated with the NSA in the spying.
Meanwhile, two senior German officials were in Washington on Wednesday, part of Berlin's efforts to probe allegations that Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone was monitored by U.S. intelligence.
The heads of Germany's foreign and domestic intelligence agencies will also visit Washington "in the coming days," said Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert. He did not say who the Germans were meeting with on the spying issue.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his government wasn't surprised by revelations of alleged monitoring by the U.S. of the leaders of allied countries.
"I am persuaded that everyone knew everything or suspected everything," Lavrov said during a visit to Greece.