Politics

Germany downplays hopes of fast end to NSA tension

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman is downplaying prospects of resolving tensions over U.S. surveillance when the German leader visits Washington next week — a trip during which Ukraine's crisis and trans-Atlantic economic ties will be key issues.

Merkel will meet President Barack Obama at the White House next Friday. Obama invited Merkel in January for her first U.S. visit since relations were strained by allegations that the National Security Agency tapped the chancellor's cellphone.

Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, noted Friday that she has said the issue of NSA surveillance can't be resolved with one visit and so "concrete results in this area can't be expected" from the Washington trip.

German officials initially sought a formal "no-spy" agreement with the United States but have since backed off hopes of such a deal.

Related Headlines

  • Germany summons US envoy over spy case

    Germany summoned the U.S. ambassador in Berlin on Friday following the arrest of a man reported to have spied for the United States, heightening friction between the two ... 

  • Barack Obama, Angela Merkel

    German opposition assails gov't over Snowden

    Germany's government has made clear it opposes the idea of former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden testifying in Berlin to a parliamentary inquiry into surveillance by the U 

  • Germany investigates alleged NSA Merkel phone tap

    German prosecutors have opened an investigation into the alleged monitoring of Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone by the U.S. National Security Agency, officials said ... 

  • Merkel's US trip to focus on Ukraine crisis

    The crisis in Ukraine will dominate talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Barack Obama in Washington this week, with both leaders keen to show the West ...