By: Patrick Donahue
July 7, 2014
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government expelled the top U.S. intelligence official in Berlin over allegations of espionage, escalating a clash that one of her top aides said has caused “grave” political harm.
The U.S. embassy official was asked to leave German soil following the Federal Prosecutor’s investigations into spying practices, the Federal Chancellery said today in an e-mailed statement.
“The government takes these activities very seriously,” the Chancellery said in the statement. A trustful relationship with the U.S. remains “indispensable” to Germany, it said, “but for that, mutual trust and openness are necessary.”
The dispute over cloak-and-dagger tactics in Germany escalated after a second probe into espionage was confirmed yesterday, compounding existing tension over accusations of mass surveillance and hacking of Merkel’s mobile phone.
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