The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 6, 2013

Kerry: U.S. will get surveillance right


The Clinton Herald

---- — WARSAW, Poland (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is vowing that a review into NSA surveillance activities will ultimately result in the “right” balance between security and privacy and says outrage over alleged espionage and eavesdropping should not disrupt key trade talks between Europe and the United States.

Speaking in Warsaw after talks with Poland’s foreign minister, Kerry said Tuesday that Europeans and others have “legitimate” questions about the surveillance and that those would be answered in private diplomatic discussions.

“We need to understand that we are all in this together,” Kerry said. “We are all in the effort to be able to provide protection to our citizens. And we have to strike the right balance between protecting our citizens and obviously the privacy of all our citizens. That is a balance that we do try to strike.”

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said he had spoken with Kerry and “we have agreed on closer cooperation between our services on combatting common threats.”

Poland has announced plans for major investments to improve its armed forces — one of few NATO countries to heed U.S. calls to expand and upgrade its military.

Kerry made clear in his news conference with Sikorsky in Warsaw and a brief visit to the Lask Air Base in central Poland that U.S defense contractors will be competing intensely for major parts of the $45 billion upgrade.

Sikorski also said that trade issues should be separate from surveillance questions.

“These are two separate things, two separate orders. One belongs to Europe itself, to the community,” he said. “The second one is rather national in character, it depends on individual states vis-a-vis the U.S.”

Kerry said President Barack Obama had ordered a complete review of NSA’s activities. But Kerry said it is important that concerns over NSA and other activities did not affect discussions about the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Some European officials have said the surveillance issue may have a negative impact on the negotiations.