White House says the U.S. isn’t monitoring her communications
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday trust between the U.S. and its partners has to be restored following allegations that U.S. intelligence targeted her cell phone, and insisted that there must be no “spying among friends”.
She complained to President Barack Obama in a phone call on Wednesday after receiving information that her cell phone may have been monitored. The White House said the U.S. isn’t monitoring and won’t monitor Ms. Merkel’s communications but didn’t address what might have happened.
Ms. Merkel said she told Mr. Obama that “spying among friends cannot be”.
“We need trust among allies and partners,” Ms. Merkel said as she arrived at a long-planned summit of the European Union (EU)’s 28 leaders. “Such trust now has to be built anew. This is what we have to think about.” She stressed that the U.S. and Europe “face common challenges; we are allies”. But, she added, “such an alliance can only be built on trust”.
In Berlin, the Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. Ambassador to complain, while Germany’s Defence Minister said Europe can’t simply return to business as usual in trans-Atlantic ties following a string of reports that the U.S. was spying on its allies.
Ms. Merkel’s chief of staff, Ronald Pofalla, said officials would make “unmistakably clear” to U.S. Ambassador John B. Emerson “that we expect all open questions to be answered”.
The U.S. Embassy said it had no comment.
A German parliamentary committee that oversees the country’s intelligence service held a meeting on Thursday to discuss the matter, which Mr. Pofalla attended. He said the government received information from news magazine Der Spiegel on the matter and then launched “extensive examinations” of the material. He also said he had ordered a review of previous statements received from the NSA.