U.S. spied on UN Secretary General

The U.S. allegedly eavesdropped on private conversations between United Nations Secretary General António Guterres and other U.N. officials, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post.

The classified documents highlight conversations that Guterres had with top U.N. officials and world leaders, including one about how he was angry that he was not allowed to visit the Tigray region of Ethiopia, which suffered a two-year armed conflict before a peace treaty was signed last fall.

Guterres allegedly wanted to confront an Ethiopian U.N. representative after the foreign minister of the eastern African country sent a letter to the Secretary General refusing that he visits the war-torn region amid peace negotiation, according to a February report obtained by the Post.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addresses the 77th session of the General Assembly at U.N. headquarters on Sept. 20, 2022.

“Guterres wanted [the Ethiopian U.N. representative] to convey his outrage to [the country’s foreign minister], exclaiming that this was the first time he received such a letter from any government during his tenure as UNSG but he guaranteed that it would be the last and that [the foreign minister] ‘would not have an opportunity to write another letter like that one,’” the report said.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed reportedly later “apologized” to Guterres for denying him permission to visit the Tigray region.

Another document obtained by The Post showed that Guterres was “not happy” about possibly traveling to Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky after weeks of traveling to several countries.

Although the report does not explain why Guterres was unhappy about the trip, a source told the Post that the Secretary General, who’s 73, had been traveling for weeks and flying commercially, and that “the trip to Ukraine required another long flight, followed by an 11-hour drive to the capital.”

The classified reports are part of a trove of Pentagon documents that were allegedly leaked last week by Jack Teixeira, a Massachusetts Air National Guard airman, who’s accused of being behind the leaks.

Teixeira was charged last week with violating the Espionage Act and another statute that prohibits the unauthorized removal of classified documents.

The documents revealed information about the U.S. involvement in the Russia-Ukraine war as well as how America allegedly spied on its foes and allies.

The Hill has reached out to the NSA, the DOJ, the State Department and the Department of Defense for comment.


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