BERLIN, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) — Countries who spy on their allies would risk destroying trust and harming security, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in her first major policy speech after re-election on Wednesday.
Merkel told parliament that Germany and the United States are still far apart in their views on the mass surveillance of U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), warning spying activities would lead to mistrust between allies and less rather than more security.
But Merkel spoke out against canceling talks between the U.S. and the European Union about a transatlantic free trade area, saying for all their differences, Germany couldn’t wish for a better partner than the U.S.
Relations between Germany and the U.S. have been strained by revelations of U.S. mass surveillance of online and photo data, especially the allegations about U.S. tapping of Merkel’s mobile phone. New reports on Sunday said the NSA also spied on German industry.
U.S. President Barack Obama told German TV earlier this month that he doesn’t want to harm the friendly relationship with Merkel, but made clear the U.S. intelligence agencies will not stop collecting data on government intentions of other countries.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is going to pay a visit to Germany on Friday. The NSA is likely to be on the agenda of Merkel’s meeting with Kerry in Berlin.