World

Actions

U.S.-German Relations On Edge After Spying Scandal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday that she was hopeful her country's relationship with the U.S. could recover.
Posted at 6:14 PM, Jul 12, 2014

Relations between Germany and the U.S. don't seem to have improved since the European country found not one but two of its government employees allegedly spying for the U.S. And Saturday, Germany's leader spoke up.

In an interview with German broadcaster ZDF, Chancellor Angela Merkel made a public statement saying "For me it is a sign that we have fundamentally different conceptions of the work of the intelligence services."

Merkel also said she hoped Germany's response to the spying — asking the top CIA official in the country to leave and expelling the U.S's top spy — would persuade the U.S. not to spy on them again. (Via Getty Images)

The U.S. gave its own statement Friday with White House spokesman Josh Earnest explaining that the U.S. and Germany have ways of talking about these kinds of incidents outside the media:

"Any differences that we have are most effectively resolved through established private channels, not through the media. These private channels include regular discussions." ​(Via C-SPAN)

In a show that cooperation between the two countries would still continue, a spokesman for Merkel confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that Germany would continue to support the trans-Atlantic free trade agreement in negotiation with the U.S. and Europe. 

But while the governments of both nations have remained cordial, America is taking a beating in German public opinion.

An opinion piece on German news site Deutsche Welle remarks "The German-American partnership is on a dangerous trajectory. More worrisome, is the realistic possibility that post-Cold War generations of Germans grow up with a predominantly negative view of the US."

But Germany's Der Spiegel writes that Merkel "has no interest in seeing a continued rise in anti-US sentiment in Germany, a development that would ultimately offer her no choice but to distance herself from the Americans once again."

Secretary of State John Kerry and Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will meet Sunday in Vienna to talk through recent diplomatic stumbles.