German minister urges US to restore trust

AP News
Posted: Nov 25, 2013 1:21 PM
German minister urges US to restore trust

BERLIN (AP) — Members of the U.S. Congress met German officials and lawmakers in Berlin Monday in an effort to relieve tensions over allegations of massive National Security Agency surveillance.

Sen. Christopher Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, met Germany's interior minister and Chancellor Angela Merkel's foreign policy adviser. Rep. Gregory Meeks, a New York Democrat, joined Murphy at a meeting with Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Germany has been angered above all by allegations that the NSA monitored Merkel's cellphone.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said "special efforts" are needed from the U.S. to restore "the necessary mutual trust," according to a ministry statement released after the meeting. He reiterated Germany's position that spying on friends is unacceptable and said he hopes Congress will act to prevent any future incidents.

"We understand the depth of the damage that has been done and that we hope, between actions of the Congress and bilateral actions between the Obama administration and the new government here, that we can set a new path forward," Murphy said following the meetings.

"In Congress, we don't want to allow this fissure, this wound, to be left unhealed for much longer."

Murphy and Meeks plan meetings with European lawmakers in Brussels on Tuesday, when they will be joined by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican from Florida.