"It's very important to recall, too, that we have extraordinarily strong and important intelligence and security relationships with our allies," he said, adding that the White House review of surveillance issues would "look at how we can better balance our security needs, and the security needs of our allies, against the real privacy concerns that we all share."
In Spain, a Foreign Ministry statement said Monday that in the meeting with Costos, the government "conveyed to the United States the importance of preserving a climate of confidence" in bilateral relations, adding that "some practices, which if they are true, are inappropriate and unacceptable between partners and friendly nations."
A statement by Costos repeated the administration's past statements that the surveillance policies are under review. It said the policies have "played a critical role in protecting citizens of the United States" and played "an instrumental role in our coordination with our allies and in protecting their interests as well."
"We will continue to confer with our allies, such as Spain, through our regular diplomatic channels to address the concerns that they have raised," the Costos statement said. "Ultimately, the United States needs to balance the important role that these programs play in protecting our national security and protecting the security of our allies with legitimate privacy concerns."
The French daily newspaper Le Monde reported last week on claims that the NSA intercepted more than 70 million phone calls in France in 30 days. That report did not specify whether the calls were recorded or whether the interceptions were limited to data about calls.