Friday, July 12, 2024

UN says concerned about US spying on Guterres

The United Nations has officially expressed concern to the US about reports of Washington's spying on the world body's Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Speaking on Tuesday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, “We have made it clear that such actions are inconsistent with the obligations of the United States as enumerated in the Charter of the United Nations and the convention on the privileges and immunities of the United Nations.”

The Washington Post first reported late Monday on two new documents that appeared to confirm the US’s interception of Guterres’ private communications.

The leaked documents appeared to contain a series of quotations by Guterres expressing skepticism about traveling to Ukraine to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and “outrage” over being denied permission to visit Ethiopia.

The documents contained observations by his aides as well as apparent analysis from US intelligence officials about the chief diplomat’s state of mind about the countries in question and matters that had to do with them.

Revelations about espionage activity targeting the UN chief became known through damning information documented in the release of top secret documents in recent weeks through the gaming platform Discord. The information was later disseminated on Twitter and Telegram.

One incident detailed Guterres’ frustration with apparent attempts by Zelensky to exploit the secretary-general’s presence in Ukraine amid ongoing war with Russia last month.

Guterres had expressed in advance of his March 7 arrival in Kiev that he was “not happy about” having to endure the long trip after already having traveled to Switzerland, Iraq, and Qatar days before. He then indicated he was not aware of Zelensky’s plans to have Guterres accompany him to a ceremony awarding medals to Ukrainian troops — an apparent attempt to make the secretary-general appear to endorse Ukraine’s war efforts.

Last week, US Department of Justice officials arrested Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, who had top-secret security clearance, for allegedly orchestrating the leak.

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