Italy summons US envoy over wiretaps, including Netanyahu-Berlusconi conversation


(JTA) — The Italian government summoned the U.S. ambassador to complain about reports that the United States eavesdropped on a conversation between Israeli and Italian leaders, among others.

John Phillips was called in to “clarify” the latest WikiLeaks revelation, the country’s foreign ministry said Tuesday, the French news agency AFP reported.

The latest batch of U.S. government cables released by WikiLeaks, an organization dedicated to government transparency, reveals eavesdropping in 2010 and 2011 on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as well as on then-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. WikiLeaks released the cables to German and Italian newspapers.

One conversation was between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Berlusconi following the fallout between the Obama and Netanyahu governments over an Israeli announcement of building in eastern Jerusalem made during a visit to Israel by Vice President Joe Biden.

In the conversation of March 13, 2010, Berlusconi promises Netanyahu to help mend ties after the Israeli asks for his assistance, the Times of Israel reported.

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