GERMAN SPY CHIEFS are due to travel to the United States next week to demand explanations following allegations that US intelligence has been tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.
“High-ranking government representatives will go rapidly to the United States in order to push forward discussions with the White House and the NSA on the allegations raised recently,” said Georg Streiter, the chancellor’s deputy spokesman.
German media quoting sources close to the intelligence service reported today that the delegation will include top officials from the German secret service.
Revelations of US covert surveillance based on leaked documents from former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden have sparked outrage in the European Union where privacy protection is a very sensitive issue.
The scandal widened this week on allegations that Merkel’s phone was being tapped, prompting Berlin to summon the US ambassador – a highly unusual move between the close allies.
Merkel had called US President Barack Obama Wednesday demanding answers and warning this would be “breach of trust” between international partners.
Spying amongst friends
“Spying between friends, that’s just not done,” Merkel said, as she was heading into a EU summit earlier this week.
Meanwhile, Brazil and Germany are preparing a resolution for the United Nations General Assembly that would demand an end to excessive spying and invasion of privacy.
Reuters reports that the allegations of US spying has caused “a moment of tension” with some allies and should not undermine cooperation on such issues as Syria and Iran.
“There is no question that the disclosure of classified information has posed a moment of tensions with some of our allies,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
“We are having discussions with those allies,” she said referring to a visit next week by the German intelligence chiefs.
Additional reporting by AFP, 2013