Malaysia has summoned the heads of US and Australian diplomatic missions in the country to protest at an alleged US-led spying network.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said his country had summoned the US and Australian envoys to “hand over a protest note in response to the alleged spying activities carried out by the two embassies in Kuala Lumpur.”
The Malaysian foreign minister has also met with his Australian counterpart, Julie Bishop, on the sidelines of a regional meeting in Perth, expressing “deep concern over such reports (of alleged Australian spying activities), which have caused considerable anger amongst the Malaysian public.”
Malaysian Foreign Ministry also warned that the spying reports could severely damage relations between close friends.
“Such activities are not done amongst close friends as it could severely damage existing relations,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that both foreign ministers will work together “to manage the situation and to avoid it from affecting the close bilateral relations.”
This comes just a day after Indonesia called in the Australian ambassador over the allegation.
The dispute erupted after the Sydney Morning Herald published a report about the US surveillance activities in the region. It said that Australian diplomatic missions helped the US to monitor phone calls and other communications in Asia.
The intelligence activities took place in several Australian embassies located in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand.
Snowden, a former CIA employee, leaked two top secret US government spying programs under which the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about NSA espionage activities targeting friendly countries.
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