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The United States will discuss its global espionage programme with France, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday, after Paris reacted angrily to allegations Washington had spied on millions of phone communications.
"We will have ongoing bilateral consultations including with our French partners that address this question," said Kerry, calling France "one of our oldest allies".
Speaking in Paris after meeting here with Arab League officials, Kerry refused to comment on the specific allegations involving France.
But he noted that Washington was reviewing its intelligence gathering operations in the wake of protests from allied governments over spying allegations.
"Protecting the security of our citizens in today's world is a very complicated, very challenging task... because there are lots of people out there seeking to do harm to other people," Kerry said.
"Lots of countries are engaged in the activity of trying to protect their citizens in the world," he said.
"Our goal is always to try to find the right balance between protecting the privacy and security of our citizens."