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Merkel backs continuing cooperation with U.S. despite spy row

English.news.cn   2014-07-14 03:49:45

BERLIN, July 13 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday called for "calm and persistent talks" with the United States on their intelligence cooperation and expressed willingness to continue to work closely with it.

In an interview with German public broadcaster ZDF, Merkel said the latest espionage scandal is a proof "that we have different points of view about the work of intelligence services."

Germany on Thursday asked Washington's intelligence chief in Berlin to leave the country as a new round of allegations of U.S. espionage is threatening to further damage bilateral ties after revelations of U.S. data gathering practices by Edward Snowden last year.

That move followed recent reports that U.S. intelligence had recruited two Germans -- a man who worked at the country's foreign intelligence agency and an employee of the Defence Ministry -- to work for the U.S. as information sources.

"We no longer live in the Cold War era where everyone is suspicious of everyone else," the chancellor said, noting that the secret services in the 21st century should "concentrate on the most important issues."

She expressed the hope that there could be changes in Americans' behavior when it comes to spying on Germany.

The head of government backed a continued German-American intelligence cooperation, saying Germany is benefiting from it on issues like the fight against terrorism.

Merkel dismissed media reports that she had instructed Germany's intelligence agencies to scale back cooperation with the United States.

"We want this partnership, but we have different points of view, including that man does not spy on each other," she told ZDF.

The chancellor also stressed the espionage affair would not jeopardise negotiations between Berlin and Washington over a transatlantic trade deal, which "is absolutely in the interest of Germany as an exporting nation."

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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