France 24 quotes Transatlantic Relations Program Nonresident Senior Fellow Nicholas Dungan on how the outrage expressed by French officials about new WikiLeaks revelations that the United States spied on French presidents is just an act of political theatre from a nation that conducts significant spying of its own:

“The revelations are a source of worry and irritation – they force diplomats and leaders to take a stand – and it does not improve the atmosphere, but they are unlikely to have any real impact on Franco-American relations in the near term,” said Nicholas Dungan, a Senior Adviser to the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS) and a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington.

“France has always pursued a policy of independence and equality with the United States,” Dungan said. “These revelations will not undermine cooperation between Paris and Washington on Cop21 (the United Nations Conference on Climate Change to be held in Paris in December), for example, or cooperation on espionage. No two countries work more closely together in the fight against terrorism.”

Dungan added that there would be no surprise on the US side if the White House found evidence that it was under surveillance by the Elysée. Despite all the declarations of the past few days, France is also a major player in the Great Game.

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