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World News April 19, 2023

U.S. spied on UN secretary-general: leaks reveal

According to leaked classified intelligence documents obtained by The Washington Post, the United States reportedly monitored conversations involving United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other UN officials. The documents revealed that Guterres expressed his “outrage” over being denied the opportunity to visit Ethiopia’s war-torn Tigray region. One document, dated February 17 and seen by The Post, indicated that Guterres wanted to confront Ethiopian UN Representative Taye Atske Selassie Amde after Ethiopia’s foreign minister, Demeke Mekonnen, sent a letter rejecting Guterres’ planned visit amid peace negotiations. Another document disclosed that Guterres was “not happy” about having to travel to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in early March, with a UN diplomat citing weeks of exhausting international travels on commercial flights as the cause. The leak of these classified documents, numbering in the hundreds of pages, resulted in the arrest of a U.S. air national guardsman for disclosing classified national defense information without authorization. The U.S. government has scrambled to assess the damage and restrict access to classified information for certain Department of Defense employees. Previous reports by U.S. media outlets also revealed that the U.S. has been monitoring its allies, including South Korea, Israel, and Ukraine. At a Brookings Institution event on Monday, Democratic House Representative Abigail Spanberger declined to comment on the allegations, but praised the U.S. government’s commitment to safeguarding information collected from and provided by its allies.

Sources: CGTN

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