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UN Secretary-General Unfazed by Leaks Revealing US Surveillance on Him


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A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “not surprised” last week after reports suggested the US had been spying on his phone for the past week.

“(Guterres) is not surprised by the fact that people are spying on him and listening in on his private conversations,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Dujarric criticized the leaks of top-secret US intelligence documents, believed to be the most serious security breach in a decade.

The far-reaching leak has rocked capitals from Washington to Kiev to Seoul with revelations of US spying on allies and foes alike and revelations of sensitive military intelligence about the war in Ukraine.

Some of the more sensitive details leaked allegedly relate to Ukraine’s military capabilities and shortcomings. It also contains information about US allies, including Israel, South Korea and Turkey.

The documents also reportedly showed that the US was watching Guterres because it believed he was too nice to Russia.

According to the BBC, one of the documents discussed how Guterres is so willing to accommodate Russian interests.

“The secretary-general has been in his job for some time. He’s been in politics and public figure for some time. So he’s not surprised,” Dujarric said in response to a question about the leaks.

What is surprising, he said, is the “irregularities or incompetence that allow such private conversations to be distorted and made public.”

When asked if the UN Secretary-General would protest against the United States, Dujarric replied: “We are not used to revealing his private phone calls with various member states.”

The leak also revealed a private conversation between Guterres and his vice president about the Black Sea grain deal.

The United Nations and Turkey brokered the grain deal in July last year to help alleviate a global food crisis exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that disrupted exports from two of the world’s leading grain suppliers.

In response to a question about the reports, Dujarric said: “The Secretary-General does not tolerate any other country.”

“He’s been very clear about violations of international law, and he’s been very clear about violations of the Charter. He says the same thing when he’s in Moscow, when he’s in Kiev, when he’s in New York, and that’s on the open record,” he said.

“Our efforts and his efforts are to mitigate the impact of the war on the world’s poorest countries. And that means doing what we can to bring down food prices and prices of grain and fertilizer around the world,” he added.

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