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US spies to remain 'interested' in foreign governments: Obama

Published on Jan 19, 2014 11:35 AM
 
US President Barack Obama speaking about the National Security Agency (NSA) at the Justice Department, on Jan 17, 2014 in Washington, DC. The US intelligence service will continue to spy on foreign governments, President Obama said in an interview broadcast on Saturday, although he assured Chancellor Angela Merkel that he would not let intrusive surveillance harm their relationship. -- PHOTO: AFP

BERLIN (AFP) - The US intelligence service will continue to spy on foreign governments, President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast on Saturday, although he assured Chancellor Angela Merkel that he would not let intrusive surveillance harm their relationship.

The frank admission comes a day after Mr Obama curtailed the reach of mass US National Security Agency phone surveillance sweeps, but said bulk collection of data would go on to protect America from terrorists.

In Friday's long-awaited speech aimed at quelling international furore over the widespread eavesdropping revealed by Edward Snowden, Mr Obama also said he had halted spy taps on friendly world leaders.

But Mr Obama told German television ZDF's heute-journal that intelligence gathering on foreign governments will continue.

 
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