Washington: The United States, which is facing backlash from its own allies and partners for bugging their embassies here including those of India, will not apologise
arguing that it gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.
“While we’re not going to comment publicly on the specifics of alleged intelligence activities, as a matter of policy we’ve made clear that the US gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations,” the State Department spokesman, Patrick Ventrell, told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.
“We have a strong relationship with a number of these countries…. We have strong partnerships and based on shared values with a number of these countries, and we’ll continue to have that discussion in diplomatic channels,” Ventrell said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Embassy in Washington did not respond to the email sent by PTI if it is aware of the embassy being bugged by the United States and if the issue has been raised by the Ambassador to the US officials.
Ventrell evaded a direct reply when he was asked that whether United States has received any complaint or demarche from other countries.
“I’m not going to get into the content of that diplomatic exchange, other than to say that we’re going to have it very directly and privately with the countries concerned.
“We’re going to be in discussion through diplomatic and intelligence channels directly with these countries, but we’re not going to read out each individual exchange,” he said.
Responding to another query, Ventrell said the US would continue to pursue free trade agreement with Europe. In view of the latest revelation, some politicians in Europe are calling to suspend or freeze the bilateral free trade agreement talks that are supposed to begin in a week.
“We think that these free trade talks have the potential to lead to great economic benefit to both European citizens and to US citizens, and so we’ll continue to pursue them because they’re good for the people of the US and they’re good for Europeans as well,” the US official added.