The German government is reportedly keen to talk to whistleblower Edward Snowden about the United States spying on its allies.
It comes after the fugitive US intelligence contractor wrote an open letter to Berlin appealing for international support to stop what he called Washington’s “persecution” of him.
The letter to the German parliament was presented to the media by opposition Green MP Hans-Christian Stroebele who met Snowden at a secret location.
He said a humanitarian solution could be found to end Snowden’s exile if the German and US governments showed strong political will.
Sentiments seemingly shared by Germany’s Interior Minister who suggested Snowden would be welcome to give Berlin any information he has about the National Security Agency’s (NSA) alleged secret monitoring of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone and a host of other politicians.
But visiting Germany would pose grave diplomatic problems for Merkel and endanger Snowden’s asylum status back in Moscow.
German officials say there is no discussion of granting him asylum, which he would have to request on German soil, and there is a pending U.S. request to arrest him if he comes.
For its part, Russia has said it will only provide Snowden with shelter if he refrains from activities that could harm the US or its relations with Moscow.
It remains unclear, however, if a meeting with German investigators would violate those terms.