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Words not enough: Berlin and Paris want a 'no spy' deal with Washington

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Words not enough: Berlin and Paris want a 'no spy' deal with Washington


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German chancellor Angela Merkel has demanded Washington stops its alleged espionage on its closest allies.

Merkel and her French counterpart Francois Hollande called on President Obama to initiate a “no-spying agreement” with Berlin and Paris.

Merkel made it clear she is not amused: “I think the most important thing is to find a basis for the future on which we can operate and, as I said today, trust needs to be rebuilt, which implies that trust has been severely shaken. Obviously words will not be sufficient. True change is necessary.”

French President Francois Hollande expressed his concerns about just how widespread spying is in the new age of connectivity: “The problem is not which leader has been spied on, but it is the extent of this network. Because it doesn’t only concern heads of state, but also companies and citizens. So it goes much further than just relations between states and leaders, it is a major problem.”

The US has a “no-spying” deal with Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, an alliance known as the “Five Eyes”. The deal came about at the end of the Second World War.

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