Germany asks British ambassador to explain spying report

Chancellor Angela Merkel with British Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this year. A spokesman for Cameron said:It's the British ambassador's job to talk to the German government and I'll let him do that.

Germany yesterday asked the British ambassador to come to the foreign ministry to discuss a newspaper report that a covert spying station was operating in Berlin with hi-tech equipment mounted on the embassy roof.

Documents leaked by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden show that Britain’s surveillance agency is operating a network of “electronic spy posts” from within a stone’s throw of the Bundestag and German chancellor’s office, the Independent reported.

“At the instigation of foreign minister (Guido) Westerwelle, the British ambassador was asked to come for a talk at the foreign ministry,” a German statement said. “The director of the European department asked for an explanation of current reports in British media and indicated that tapping communications from a diplomatic mission would be a violation of international law.”

In London, a spokesman for British prime minister David Cameron said: “We don’t comment on intelligence questions. It’s my understanding that he was invited. It’s the British ambassador’s job to talk to the German government and I’ll let him do that. The prime minister has not spoken to Merkel. We have an excellent relationship with the German government and I think that will continue.”

State surveillance is a sensitive subject in Germany, a country haunted by memories of eavesdropping by the Stasi secret police in the former communist East.

Allegations of British surveillance surfaced just weeks after reports the United States’ espionage agency tapped Merkel’s phone, prompting a furious response from Germany and a flurry of diplomatic and political activity, as Berlin pushes for a no-spying deal with Washington in order to restore trust.

Reuters


Lifestyle

I’d always promised myself a day off school when Gay Bryne died.Secret diary of an Irish teacher: I’ve been thinking about my students, wondering who their ‘Gay Byrne’ will be

In an industry where women battle ageism and sexism, Meryl Streep has managed to decide her own destiny – and roles, writes Suzanne HarringtonJeepers Streepers: Hollywood royalty, all hail queen Meryl

'Ask Audrey' has been the newspaper's hysterical agony aunt “for ages, like”.Ask Audrey: Guten tag. Vot the f**k is the story with your cycle lanes?

Daphne Wright’s major new exhibition at the Crawford addresses such subjects as ageing and consumerism, writes Colette SheridanFinding inspiration in domestic situations

More From The Irish Examiner