German leader: spying on allies harms security

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Updated: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 07:15:15 EST

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says countries who spy on their allies risk undermining trust, leading to less rather than more security.

Merkel's comments Wednesday, in an inaugural address to parliament after her re-election, were directed at the U.S. and Britain. Those countries' electronic espionage activities have rattled Berlin since they were exposed by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden last year.

The German leader said her government felt responsible for protecting the privacy rights of its citizens and she would lead negotiations with Washington over a "no spy" agreement between the two countries "with the force of our arguments."

But Merkel spoke out against canceling trade talks between the U.S. and the European Union, and said Germany "couldn't wish for a better partner than the U.S.A."

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