Obama calls France's Hollande about spying reports

The White House said Mr Obama and Mr Hollande agreed their countries will continue to discuss the issue through diplomatic channels. Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

US President Barack Obama has spoken to French President Francois Hollande following alleged American spying on French citizens as the White House admitted the reports raised "legitimate questions for our friends and allies".

The statement from the White House said the pair discussed "recent disclosures in the press - some of which have distorted our activities and some of which raise legitimate questions for our friends and allies about how these capabilities are employed".

The statement added: "(Mr Obama) made clear that the United States has begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share."