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Turkey demands explanation from Britain on eavesdropping incident


08:50, June 18, 2013

ANKARA, June 17 (Xinhua) -- The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday demanded an "official and satisfying explanation" from Britain on claims that Britain eavesdropped on Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek during a meeting in London in 2009, Turkish Daily News reported.

"If a news report claiming that the British government eavesdropped on Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek and his delegation during the G-20 finance ministers' meeting in London in 2009 proves to be true, this would be a scandal that would be obviously unacceptable for Turkey," the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.

"As a matter of fact, required diplomatic initiatives have been taken," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Simsek told reporters that Turkey will condemn the incident in "the strongest terms" if the claims are verified and that "all necessary steps will be taken."

However, British Embassy officials in Ankara responded that none of the embassy staff was authorized to make any comment on intelligence matters.

Earlier this month, British daily newspaper The Guardian said it had seen classified documents that detailed secret monitoring by British intelligence of officials at a G20 leaders' summit and a finance ministers' meeting in 2009.

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