Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Obama Tries to mitigate damage from EU fallout over US spying claims

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...
Barack Obama has sought to limit the damage from the growing transatlantic espionage row after Germany and France denounced the major snooping activities of US agencies and warned of a possible delay in the launch next week of ambitious free-trade talks between Europe and the US.

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and French president, Fran├žois Hollande, demanded quick explanations from Washington about disclosures by the Guardian and Der Spiegel that US agencies bugged European embassies and offices. Berlin stressed there had to be mutual trust if trade talks were to go ahead in Washington on Monday.

Hollande went further, indicating the talks could be called off unless the alleged spying was stopped immediately and US guarantees were provided.

The diplomatic row came as Edward Snowden – the fugitive National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, who faces espionage charges in the US and is holed up in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport – applied for asylum in Russia. Snowden used his first public statement to attack the US for revoking his passport and accused it of bullying countries that might grant him asylum. Read more >>
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