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Merkel requires changes in interaction between U.S. and EU intelligence

Angela Merkel noted, however, that she didn't expect any apologies from the U.S.
AP /Yves Logghe
AP /Yves Logghe

BRUSSELS, October 25. (ITAR-TASS). — U.S. intelligence agencies and the European Union should agree on the principles on which they interact and behave in relation to the citizens of the respective countries, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement made in Brussels on Friday.

“I do not expect and do not insist on apologies from the U.S.,” Merkel said. “However, we must restore the basis of trust. Words alone are not enough. Changes are needed.”

“Trust is undermined”

EU leaders on Friday resumed the work of the EU summit on the background of reports that U.S. intelligence agencies spy on many heads of state and government of the EU.

Today, the community has made a special summit statement. “We are convinced that partnership between the EU and the U.S. should be based on respect and trust, this also applies to the methods of work and cooperation of intelligence services,” the document says. The heads of state and governments of the EU stressed that “collection of information is an important element in the fight against terrorism”. “However, the loss of trust can be harmful to such cooperation,” the statement says.

On Thursday, France and Germany have demanded an urgent series of joint meetings of the security services of the EU and the U.S. to “clarify the situation” and to “restore the basis for cooperation”. It is expected that these meetings will be held before the end of this year.

“Faith of the EU in the United States is now undermined at its base,” a European diplomat told Itar-Tass on sidelines of the summit. “It is known that Stasi (Ministry of State Security of the GDR) spied on Merkel, who lived in East Germany. This is why she perceived so painfully reports that her phone could be tapped by U.S. secret services.”

New facts about tapping

October 21, French Le Monde, citing data from Snowden, reported on its website that the NSA has extensive wiretaps of French citizens. Thus, from December 10, 2012 to January 8, 2013 the NSA intercepted phone calls and SMS messages. The secret program was called the US-985D. Le Monde believes that this is the designation of the so-called “third group” of countries tapped, which also includes Germany, Poland, Austria and Belgium. In the “second group” includes countries more close in their policy to the United States — UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

October 23, it was reported that U.S. intelligence agencies could wiretap the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.