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09:48 07-02-2016
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President Obama speaks with Chancellor Merkel after spy row

Bishkek (AKIpress) - obama merkel President Barack Obama late on Tuesday spoke to Chancellor Angela Merkel for the first time since a row over U.S. spying prompted Germany to turf out the CIA station chief in Berlin, The News International reported.

The White House gave away little of the conversation about the latest espionage scandal to rock the crucial relationship between the U.S. President and Europe’s leader.

A statement said that Obama and Merkel “exchanged views on U.S.-German intelligence cooperation, and the President said he’d remain in close communication on ways to improve cooperation going forward.”

Obama and Merkel have forged a firm working relationship, but successive revelations about U.S. spying and surveillance have strained U.S.-German ties and put the German leader under intense political pressure at home.

The row over espionage first erupted last year over revelations by fugitive U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden that the NSA was conducting massive Internet and phone data sweeps, including in Germany. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made the first attempt by the administration to improve ties with Germany on Sunday in talks with his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Vienna.


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