German lawmaker says relations with US at new low

(FILES) this photo taken on on June 19, 2013 shows German Chancellor Angela Merkel shaking hands with US President Barack c after their joint press conference following their bilateral meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. Obama made an invitation to Merkel to the White House on January 8, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD

BERLIN: A senior German lawmaker says relations with the United States are at their lowest since the beginning of the Iraq war because of revelations about American spy programs.

Germany refused in 2003 to support the U.S.-led attack to topple Saddam Hussein, straining trans-Atlantic relations.

Philipp Missfelder, the foreign policy spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right party, says allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on Germany have prompted a similar loss of trust between the two countries.

Missfelder says unless talks between Washington and Berlin on a "no-spy" pact proceed, the United States should stop receiving data on financial transactions inside the European Union.

German and American officials are expected to discuss the NSA issue when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits Germany later this month.





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