NEW DELHI (AFP) – The Indian government expressed concern Wednesday over reports US intelligence services spied on 38 diplomatic missions including India's embassy in Washington, saying it would take up the issue with US authorities.
"We have seven and studied media reports of our embassy in Washington being amongst a list of diplomatic missions which were intrusively monitored by US agencies," a spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs said.
"Obviously we are concerned at such disconcerting reports and we will certainly raise with US authorities these serious allegations," spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told reporters in New Delhi.
The Guardian newspaper reported at the weekend that US intelligence services were spying on 38 embassies and diplomatic missions or "targets" of its allies including India.
The report was based on documents provided by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has become an international fugitive.
The comments come after India's foreign minister on Tuesday defended the vast US surveillance programme of phone logs and Internet data revealed by Snowden.
"Some of the information they got out of their scrutiny, they were able to use it to prevent serious terrorist attacks in several countries," Salman Khurshid told reporters in Brunei.
Akbaruddin said on Wednesday that the minister was not referring to reports of spying on embassies, which he said was a separate issue.
US President Barack Obama has stopped short of acknowledging any spying by the United States but suggested snooping by the world's intelligence services is widespread.