Statement regarding information that the Federal Chancellor’s cellphone may have been monitored by US intelligence services

24.10.2013 - Press release

The following statement has been issued by Government Spokesperson Steffen Seibert:

“The German Government has received information that the Chancellor’s cellphone is possibly being monitored by American intelligence services. We promptly addressed an inquiry to our American partners, requesting immediate and thorough clarification.

The Chancellor spoke with President Obama today by phone. She made clear that, should the information prove true, she unequivocally disapproves of such practices and views them as totally unacceptable. Among close friends and partners, such as the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States have been for decades, such monitoring of the communications of a head of government simply must not occur. This would be a serious breach of trust. Such practices would have to be stopped immediately.

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel furthermore expressed the expectation that the U.S. authorities will provide clarification about the potential dimension of such monitoring practices vis-à-vis Germany and thus answer questions that the German Government already asked months ago. As a close ally of the United States of America, the German Government expects there to be a clear legally agreed basis for the future activities of the intelligence services and cooperation between them.

The Head of the Federal Chancellery, Federal Minister Ronald Pofalla, met this afternoon with the Chairman of the Parliamentary Control Panel, Thomas Oppermann, and Deputy Chairman Michael Grosse-Brömer, to inform them of the alleged claims.

High-level talks also took place in Berlin with White House and U.S. State Department officials in an effort to clarify the issues. These talks must continue.”

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