Brussels, Belgium (4E) – Espionage is mixing into the mainly economic agenda of the European Union leaders’ meeting in Brussels as German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in the summit Thursday expressing displeasure over the U.S. spying of her mobile phone.
“Spying among friends is not OK” and trust between allies needs to be restored, Merkel told EU summit reporters in Brussels. The remark came as U.S. Ambassador to Germany John B. Emerson was called for talks with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Berlin Thursday afternoon, according to a foreign ministry spokeswoman.
Merkel already spoke with U.S. President Barack Obama by phone on Wednesday to complain about the eavesdropping of her mobile phone as reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel, which cited former National Security Agency (NSA) staffer and whistleblower Edward Snowden as source. Merkel’s old Nokia phone number was found in documents leaked by Snowden, according to the Welt newspaper.
Obama assured Merkel during their phone talk that she is not being spied on and won’t be, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday. But Obama did not answer if the NSA had spied on her in the past.
Merkel will talk with French President Francois Hollande on the sideline of the summit to discuss U.S. spying in Europe and EU’s response, an unnamed French diplomat said.
Hollande also talked with Obama by phone on Monday about alleged NSA interception and recording of 70.3 million bits of phone call data inside France from Dec. 10, 2012, to Jan. 8, 2013.