News / Europe

German Chancellor: Trust in US Broken

FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel listen during the G7 Summit working dinner in Brussels.
FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel listen during the G7 Summit working dinner in Brussels.
VOA News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the breakdown in trust between her country and the United States over spying shows the two have "fundamentally different conceptions" about the work of intelligence agencies.

Chancellor Merkel told public broadcaster ZDF television Saturday she hoped the U.S. would change its spying behavior, adding that "we are not living in the Cold War era anymore."

According to reports by Agence France Presse, Merkel said "the thing we always have to keep in mind when we are working together is if the person across the table is possibly working at the same time for someone else, that for me isn't a trusting relationship."


Germany on Thursday demanded Washington's top spy in Berlin leave the country after the reported discovery that two German government officials were working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday Washington valued its relationship with Germany. He said "allies with sophisticated intelligence agencies are aware of the activities and relationships that are included."

"The president has found Chancellor Merkel to be a very effective partner precisely because she is somebody who is able to identify the interests of her country and place them first, but can act in a collective cooperative spirit to advance the kind of agenda that's in the best interest of her country as well."

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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Comment Sorting
by: Patrick from: Ca
July 14, 2014 3:49 AM
Interesting, agree with "not again", if Germany is our ally why don't they act like it!? I like a lot of what the Germans are doing with medicine and alternative energy, and agree with they're hesitation to get involved in others fights, but weren't they the country who tried to take over the world! Together we could forge a future of hope, let's stop the infighting and get back in the game!

by: Not Again from: Canada
July 13, 2014 7:40 AM
In my opinion- "We are not in the cold war" the language of East Germany; Merkel plays the lack of understanding of the situation; unfortunately she fails, potentially deliberately, to realize and consider that trust and working together is a two way street, and it requires allocation of resources. She needs to do a bit of introspection, and look at the many times when she has in fact opposed the desire/expectation of the Western allies on issues that are fairly straight forward; best observable (big media coverage) example is the case of repeated requests, by the US, to decleare Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Why would a gvmt/leader repeatedly disregard the issue? Stands to reason that a better understanding of the situation would be sought.
Another straight forward observable issue = Germany, with one of the largest economies on the planet, why would it not be willing to carry its fair share of the collective deterrent/security load? this lack of willigness is demonstrated by the minimalist approach to funding, outfitting, maintaning and training Germany's security forces; the continued expectation of going cheap on deterrence is not right, nor is it expecting other nations to pick up the slack.
The number of issues, that can't be readily explained, are many, not much of it has to do wrt trust, but in my opinion, has to do with attempting to establish confidence in the reasoning/logic wrt the minimalist approach, or non-responsive approach to the "collective expectations".
By not carrying a poportional load to its economic ability, its population size, and given ever increasing risks to global stability, as observed, there is no question the sit requires more active contributions, so why not?. The issue of trying to fully understand the thinking/logic comes about. Why oppose the obvious?

by: Jack
July 13, 2014 1:17 AM
Trust in US is broken - Unfortunate that this matter is now in the public domain, when it could have been dealt with internally, as compared with the Edward Snowden leaks, where no control was possible. Suffice to say the during Cold War area, East Germany was directly under the control of the Soviets and perhaps some introspection by the German Foreign Minister would be advantageous to himself and the Government.

by: Mark from: Virginia
July 12, 2014 10:24 PM
I have to side with Germany on this one...Shame on America for its spying efforts used against other countries. It is not how you treat an ally.
Its one thing to use intelligence gathering schemes on a country you suspect has ties to criminal activity / terrorist activity, its another thing to gather intelligence from a country that you consider a friend and ally. Its just not right. The Cold War is over. When are we going to realize that, and stop acting like its the 1950s....
In Response

by: me from: az
July 13, 2014 5:20 PM
the cold war isn't over in my opinion it just got a lot colder then it was, once the soviets fell. cause look what Russia is doing now, going after Ukraine, trying to gain back territory they had in the cold war. but anyways what I'm trying to say is, as the human race is right now we are going to be in a perpetual cold war until we can quit fighting over other peoples ideals or religion.

by: Todd from: Manitowoc, WI
July 12, 2014 9:17 PM
Here is the ONLY 100% source of trust:

Psalm 146:3; Do not put your trust in princes*
Nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation.+
4 His spirit* goes out, he returns to the ground;+
On that very day his thoughts perish.+
5 Happy is the one who has the God of Jacob as his helper,+
Whose hope is in Jehovah his God,+
6 The Maker of heaven and earth,
Of the sea, and of all that is in them,+
The One who always remains faithful,+

by: Robert Riversong from: Vermont USA
July 12, 2014 4:34 PM
Too little too late. Most awake and aware Americans lost trust in our government during the Vietnam War.

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