[QODLink]
Europe

Merkel says spying claims testing US-EU ties

German Chancellor, addressing lower house of parliament, says US snooping has put transatlantic ties "to the test".

Last updated: 18 Nov 2013 23:11
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
People held demonstration in front of the Bundestag supporting former NSA contractor Edward Snowden [Reuters]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for answers over "grave" accusations of US spying which, she said in a speech to parliament, had put transatlantic ties "to the test".

Merkel kicked off a statement to the Bundestag lower House by addressing the issue of US snooping on German soil, which included her mobile phone.

Lawmakers will later return to the chamber to debate the widespread surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA), which has sparked outrage in Germany and frayed ties with the US.

"The transatlantic relationship and therefore also the negotiations for a free trade agreement are presently without doubt being put to the test by the remaining accusations against the US and the collection of millions of data," Merkel said.

"The accusations are grave. They must be explained and, more important still for the future, new trust must be built," she said to applause from lawmakers.

Her remarks came at the start of an address to the Bundestag on EU partnerships with eastern European nations.

She stressed that ties with the US were of "paramount" importance for Germany and Europe.

People held demonstration in front of the Bundestag supporting former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

After evidence of US agents having tapped Merkel's mobile phone, part of wider revelations from leaked NSA documents from whistleblower Snowden, she confronted President Barack Obama by phone last month.

Berlin also took the unusual step of summoning the US ambassador.

For months the claims have put the US in the firing line and strained diplomatic ties between Washington and its international allies, also casting a cloud over EU-US talks to clinch the world's biggest free-trade accord.

276

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
Taliban makes quick gains in Afghanistan with little opposition from Afghan army as US withdrawal begins.
Analysts say China moving back toward 1950s-era public trials aimed at shaming and intimidation.
Record numbers of migrants have made harrowing sea journeys to Italy and Greece this year.
In Vietnam, 40 percent of all pregnancies are terminated each year, a rate that health officials are hoping to reduce.
join our mailing list