PARIS – French Interior Minister Manuel Valls has publicly dressed down the United States at the American ambassador's July 4 garden party, denouncing alleged U.S. "espionage" of France and other countries.
Valls was guest of honor at the fete hosted by Ambassador Charles Rivkin Thursday. In a speech before hundreds of guests, he said that "in the name of our friendship, we owe each other honesty. We must say things clearly, directly, frankly."
He said that President Francois Hollande's demand for clear and precise explanations about reports of U.S. spying are justified because "such practices, if proven, do not have their place between allies and partners."
European countries agreed Wednesday that planned talks on free trade with the U.S. must start in parallel with discussions on National Security Agency surveillance.