Germany says new US spying reports strain relations

Security relations between Germany and United States crackle as latest reports reveal US spying on Germany

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesperson Steffen Seibert on Thursday expressed Germany’s concerns over the latest reports about US spying on senior government ministers.

He said that they are straining on crucial security relations between the two countries, adding that Germany is taking the reports seriously.

According to German media reports, based on documents released on WikiLeaks, the US National Security Agency (NSA)  spied on 69 telephone and fax numbers of many senior German government members, including the economy and finance ministers, as well as Merkel in the latest twist.

"Such repeated events strain German and American intelligence cooperation which is essential for the safety of our citizens," spokesperson said in a statement.

Merkel’s chief of staff Peter Altmaier, earlier, summoned the US ambassador and asked for an explanation of the reports and told him that German law must be respected and any violations against it would be punished.

John Kirby, spokesperson of State Department, confirmed the meeting between the American ambassador and German Chancellor Angela Merkel's chief of staff, but did not give further details.

"What I can tell you is that nothing's changed about the strong relationship that we have and will continue to have with Germany," said the spokesperson, denying the latests reports have had a negative effect on relations of the two countries.

The State Department also said on Thursday that US relationship with Germany remains deep and strong following the meeting of US ambassador with Merkel’s chief of staff  in Berlin about the NSA spying.

"Our desire is not to have any strain on the relationship,"  the spokesperson told at a news briefing.

TRTWorld and agencies