You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Merkel: Trust with U.S. needs to be rebuilt

Nov. 18, 2013 - 03:52PM   |  
  • Filed Under

BERLIN — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday the relationship between Germany and the United States as well as the future of a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement have been "put to the test" by allegations of massive spying by the U.S. National Security Agency including tapping her own phone.

"The allegations are grave. They have to be investigated and even more important for the future, new trust has to be rebuilt," Merkel told Parliament at the beginning of a debate on U.S. spying in Germany.

However, Merkel tempered her criticism by declaring that Germany's alliance with Washington "remains a fundamental guarantor for our freedom and our security."

The need to maintain close ties with Washington while at the same time responding to public outrage over American spying has proven challenging for Merkel, who had sought to play down the allegations when they first surfaced last spring.

That changed, however, with media reports last month that Merkel's own cellphone had been tapped by NSA operatives. The reports unleashed a firestorm of criticism in Germany, threatening one of America's closest political relationships in Europe.

In the wake of those reports, the German government sent delegations to Washington to press for a no-spying pact with the Americans.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Parliament that the U.S. had not been as forthcoming during those talks as the Germans had hoped.

"The Americans need to come clean," Friedrich said. "They cannot become entangled in contradictions...The silence means there are all sorts of conspiracy theories."

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a former foreign minister, said Berlin should not be satisfied until it gets "reliable, verifiable agreements" with Washington to prevent future spying.

The steady drumbeat of revelations has focused public attention on the broader issue of America's security role in Germany, where the U.S. still maintains more than 30,000 troops. The reports have questioned whether German sovereignty has been compromised, making it more difficult for Merkel to contain the political damage.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper has reported the U.S. is directing drone attacks in Africa from bases in Germany. The newspaper has also reported that more than 50 U.S. agents based at German airports and seaports decide who can fly to the U.S. and enjoy diplomatic immunity and power "akin to German customs and police officers."

An Interior Ministry spokeswoman, Mareike Kutt, told reporters that the U.S. agents were dealing with immigration issues and "they are not allowed to make decisions regarding sovereign measures in Germany, such as arrests."

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

From Our Blogs


The latest from PT365

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook