Written by Staff Writer
11 Jul, 2014 | 7:57 am
Germany has taken the unusual step of asking the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave the country, following two reported cases of suspected US spying.
Thursday’s move reflects growing impatience in Germany at what is perceived as US nonchalance about being caught spying on a close ally, amid a yearlong row over eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.
“The representative of the US intelligence services at the United States embassy has been asked to leave Germany,” Steffen Seibert, a German government spokesman, said in a statement.
“The request occurred against the backdrop of the ongoing investigation by federal prosecutors as well as the questions that were posed months ago about the activities of US intelligence agencies in Germany.
“The government takes the matter very seriously.”
Seibert said Germany continues to seek “close and trusting” cooperation with its Western partners, “especially the United States”.
Shortly before the decision was announced, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, said Germany and the US had “very different approaches” to the role of intelligence agencies.
Merkel stressed the need for greater trust between allies, a position she has repeatedly voiced since reports last year that the National Security Agency eavesdropped on her mobile phone.
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