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Jan 29, 2014|
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has strongly criticized the United States and Britain for mass spying programs revealed by the former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, Edward Snowden.
Addressing the German parliament on Wednesday, Merkel said countries which spy on their allies risk destroying trust, resulting in less rather than more security.
"Actions in which the ends justify the means, in which everything that is technically possible is done, violate trust, they sow distrust," she said, noting that the "end result is not more security but less."The German leader made the remarks ahead of talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday. The talks will focus "on the transatlantic partnership and global political issues," according to her spokesman Steffen Seibert.
Merkel is planning to visit Washington in the coming months for talks with US President Barack Obama, though no date has been announced yet.
Earlier this month, Philipp Missfelder, the foreign policy spokesman for Merkel's center-right party, said revelations that the NSA spied on German officials, including Merkel, have broken trust between the two countries.
"We can see that we are not seen as loyal friends anymore, rather we are confronted with a great deal of mistrust," Missfelder said, adding, "I am not saying we are on a level with countries that are outside of NATO, but there has been a qualitative change, at least from the American side."
In October 2013, Snowden leaked top secret US government spying programs under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.
The NSA scandal took even broader dimensions when Snowden revealed information about its espionage activities targeting friendly countries and their leaders, which included bugging Chancellor Merkel’s cellphone for a decade.
The revelations prompted Brazil and Germany to draft a UN General Assembly resolution aimed at restraining the NSA’s surveillance programs against other nations.