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U.S. promises diplomatic response to Colombia on espionage


08:20, July 11, 2013

BOGOTA, July 10 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. ambassador said Wednesday his country would respond "via diplomatic channels" to Colombia's concerns regarding Washington's global surveillance program.

Colombia's Foreign Ministry has requested Washington to respond to revelations of the "existence of an unauthorized program to collect data and intercept personal communications" in the South American country, Michael McKinley told local radio.

"We understand the expressions of concern and the fact is that we are obligated to respond via diplomatic channels to our partners and among those nations is Colombia," said the ambassador.

McKinley said he would not publicly comment on the U.S. intelligence activities, but acknowledged any concerns the Colombian government may have.

"What our President Barack Obama and our Secretary of State John Kerry have made clear is that we are working on a foundation of respect for people's privacy," he said.

Colombia became the latest in a string of nations to demand an explanation from Washington over the international intelligence scandal. Late Tuesday, its Foreign Ministry issued a brief statement to express its "concern" over news reports that the U.S. National Security Agency is spying on communications worldwide.

"Since we reject spying that violates people's right to privacy and international conventions on telecommunications, Colombia will request the U.S. government, through its ambassador in Colombia, offer the related explanations," said the statement.

Citing information from U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, Brazilian daily O Globo revealed Sunday the United States is covertly gathering Internet and telephone communications in several Latin American countries, including Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.

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