Germany Summons U.S. Ambassador Over Surveillance Claims

Berlin taking a sharper line over claims that Washington spied on German leaders

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Tobias Schwarz / Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses her phone at an event in Berlin, October 25, 2011.

The German government is taking a stronger stance over allegations that U.S. intelligence services spied on the country’s leadership.

According to the BBC, German officials in Berlin summoned the U.S. ambassador on Thursday to discuss allegations that American intelligence agencies hacked into Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

According to the Associated Press (AP), Germany’s defense minister Thomas de Maiziere said that while ties would remain stable, Europe could not return to business as usual with Washington until the issues were resolved.

The German government first raised its discomfort over spying allegations during a visit by U.S. President Barack Obama in June. Its rhetoric is now taking a notably tougher line. AP said that the German government issued a statement Wednesday demanding answers from Washington to questions “asked months ago.”