Amidst tapping spat Obama invites Merkel to America
by FFE EU News Staff
White House confirmed that American President Barack Obama has called German Chancellor Angela Merkel to wish her a speedy recovery from her skiing accident and to invite her to the US at a ‘mutually agreeable time in the coming months.’
The invitation came after months of dispute between the two allies over the alleged National Security Agency (NSA) tapping of the chancellor’s calls. Last year, the chancellor was furious when intelligence contractor Edward Snowden leaked information that the US had been spying on Germany, and that the NSA had been listening to Merkel’s mobile. In October, Merkel told Obama that this was a ‘breach of trust’ between allies.
White House said ‘The president spoke to Chancellor Merkel today to wish her a speedy recovery following her injury and to congratulate her on the formation of her new cabinet.
‘The leaders noted the full agenda for 2014, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations and NATO Summit, and looked forward to working closely together to advance our shared interests.’
Merkel’s office said the chancellor will accept the invitation, although the date is not yet set. German Marshall Fund of the United States said that the invitation ‘is the best way to try to begin to mend fences over the NSA affair.’
The NSA allegations have become a political embarrassment for Obama. They have also become damaging for Germany because of the nation’s sensitivity over mass spying by the former communist East’s Stasi secret police. The chancellor told the German Parliament ‘They must be explained and, more important still for the future, new trust must be built.’