U.N. warns U.S. against spying on diplomats

| Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, 7:48 p.m.

United Nations officials on Monday reacted to the latest leaks about National Security Agency spying with a reminder to the Obama administration of its legal obligation to respect the “inviolability” of diplomatic missions on American soil.

The German news magazine Der Spiegel reported during the weekend that the NSA, under fire for reported intelligence gathering on private phone calls and emails around the world, had infiltrated the U.N. video-conferencing network to eavesdrop on diplomatic missions in New York.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other officials are “aware of the reports and intend to be in touch with the relevant authorities,” spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at the daily news briefing at U.N. headquarters.

The United States, as host country for the United Nations and its member delegations, is obliged by “well-established international law” to respect the privacy and sovereignty of national and multinational missions, Haq said.

“Member states are expected to act accordingly to protect the inviolability of diplomatic missions,” Haq said.

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