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Germany's Merkel To Visit U.S. Amid Anger Over NSA Spying

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

German Chancellor Angela Merkel accepted an invitation Wednesday from President Obama to visit the U.S., just months after relations between the two allies hit a low following revelations the U.S. was spying on Merkel and other world leaders.

Obama made the invitation during a conversation Wednesday with the German chancellor. Steffen Seibert, a German government spokesman, said the visit would occur in the next few months.

The White House said:

"The President spoke to Chancellor Merkel today to wish her a speedy recovery following her injury and to congratulate her on the formation of her new cabinet. The leaders noted the full agenda for 2014, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) negotiations and NATO Summit, and looked forward to working closely together to advance our shared interests. The President also extended an invitation to the Chancellor to visit Washington at a mutually agreeable time in the coming months."

Merkel's visit would mark a thawing of relations between the two allies that were strained after Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency, leaked documents that suggested the agency spied on the German chancellor and other world leaders. At the time, Obama tried to assure Merkel that the U.S. "is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel."

But as Eyder has noted, Merkel is hardly the only world leader the NSA is accused of spying on. Documents leaked by Snowden suggested the agency had spied on Mexico's Enrique Peña Nieto and Brazil's Dilma Rouseff. In response, Rouseff postponed a state visit.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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