Angela Merkel called President Barack Obama to complain that the U.S. intelligence may have monitored her mobile phone, saying that would be “a serious breach of trust” if confirmed.
“She made clear that she views such practices, if proven true, as completely unacceptable and condemns them unequivocally,” Merkel’s spokesperson told announced.
For its part, the White House denied the allegations, saying that the U.S. is listening in on Merkel’s phone calls now.
“The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.
He went on, adding: “The United States greatly values our close cooperation with Germany on a broad range of shared security challenges.”
However, the White House representative did not specifically say that the U.S. had never monitored or obtained Merkel’s communications, The Huffington Post reports.
The German government explained that it received “information that the chancellor’s cellphone may be monitored” by U.S. intelligence.
It wouldn’t elaborate, but German news journal Der Spiegel, which has previously published material from NSA wistleblower Edward Snowden, said its research triggered the response.
Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert released a statement that claims the chancellor told Obama in a phone call that “she views such practices, if the indications are confirmed … as completely unacceptable.”
The head of the German government said among close partners as Germany and the U.S., “there must not be such surveillance of a head of government’s communication,” Seibert added. “That would be a serious breach of trust. Such practices must be stopped immediately.”
The U.S. allies afmit that they are aware that the Americans were spying on them, but they had no idea how much and for how long time.
“As details of National Security Agency spying programs have become public, citizens, activists and politicians in countries from Latin America to Europe have lined up to express shock and outrage at the scope of Washington’s spying,” The Huffington Post writes.
German Cancellor had previously raised concerns over the electronic eavesdropping issue during the U.S. president’s business trip to Germany in June, and has demanded answers from the U.S. government and backed calls for greater European data protection.
“Between close friends and partners, as Germany and the U.S. have been for decades, there should not be such monitoring of the communications of a government leader,” said Merkel’s spokesman in the statement. “This would be a grave breach of trust. Such practices should be immediately stopped.”
The White House statement said Merkel and Obama had agreed to intensify cooperation between the U.S. and German intelligence services to protect the security of both countries.
“The United States greatly values our close cooperation with Germany on a broad range of shared security challenges,” Carney said. “As the President has said, the United States is reviewing the way that we gather intelligence to ensure that we properly balance the security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share.”