The Turkish foreign minister has spoken to the UK's Ambassador to Turkey about allegations that British intelligence agencies spied on G20 delegates during the 2009 summit, the Foreign Office confirmed.
An FCO spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has raised this issue with the Ambassador, which was discussed in a phone call”.
The South African government has expressed concern following allegations that British intelligence agencies spied on G20 delegates during the 2009 summit.
The administration said in a statement:
We do not yet have the full benefit of details reported on, but in principle we would condemn the abuse of privacy and basic human rights particularly if it emanates from those who claim to be democrats.
We have solid, strong and cordial relations with the United Kingdom and would call on their Government to investigate this matter fully with a view to take strong and visible action against any perpetrators.
Traditionally friendly powers such as South Africa and Turkey were among the countries targeted during the course of a British intelligence operation at two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009, the Guardian claims.
A paper seen by the newspaper suggested the operation was sanctioned at a senior level in the government of then prime minister Gordon Brown and that the intelligence obtained was passed to ministers.
The disclosure is potentially embarrassing for Prime Minister David Cameron as he prepares to welcome leaders to the G8 summit at Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.
The Guardian says it has seen documents showing that foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers and phone calls intercepted by British intelligence agencies.
The newspaper claims one tactic used was to set up internet cafes where delegates' email traffic was read.
It says that the documents suggest the surveillance operation was "sanctioned in principle at a senior level in the government" and that intelligence was made available to British ministers.
The allegations are likely to raise questions as Britain prepares to host the G8 summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland tomorrow.