Revelations that the United States spied on three French presidents and other officials has dented relations between the countries but is unlikely to produce lasting damage, experts said. Paris, miffed, reacted with a muted response.
New Problem for the Presidents
A new conflict emerges between the US and France.
French society reacted with shock, disbelief and outrage, but its government responded with measured, muted disappointment this week to revelations that United States had wiretapped the phone calls of three French presidents and other senior government officials.
Experts say the disclosures of widespread spying by the U.S. National Security Agency will damage relations between France and the United States, but are unlikely to severe ties between the two strategic allies.
Gereon Fritz, the president of the VDFG Vereinigung Deutsch-Französischer Gesellschaften für Europa, an organization of 170 clubs and groups with 25,000 members in Germany, said the revelations of NSA spying in France, like those in Germany, would probably damage the country’s relations with the United States over the short term, pushing France to reevaluate but not end its cooperation.
Over time, the countries are likely to survive the controversy because of the need to maintain a close strategic and economic relationship, he said.
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