World

Berlin calls for end to US spying in Germany

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel   | Photo Credit: Markus Schreiber

Germany called on Washington on Friday to end its spying on Europe’s biggest economy after relations between the two nations plunged to a new low in the wake of allegations of US espionage in the nation.

Berlin expelled the US top intelligence officer in Germany on Thursday amid claims that two German officials — one working for the domestic secret service (BND) and the other for the Defence Ministry — had handed over sensitive material to Washington.

“Above all, we need a binding guarantee from Washington that the practice is once and for all finished,” Justice Minister Heiko Maas told Passauer Neuen Presse.

Bild also reported on Friday that German government authorities responsible for the nation’s secret service operations had ordered the intelligence service to reduce cooperation with the Americans to a bare minimum until further notice.

This does not include areas that are of clear interests to Germany such as the security of the nation’s soldiers in Afghanistan or terrorist threats, Bild said quoting intelligence service officials in Berlin.

In the meantime, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) warned that the spy scandal could lead to a drop in German investment in the US.

Claims about the activities of the US intelligence service in Germany could result in a loss of trust in the business relations between the two nations, DIHK’s chief foreign trade economist Volker Treier told Neuen Osnabruecker Zeitung.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 6:04:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/berlin-calls-for-end-to-us-spying-in-germany/article6200933.ece

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