Fallout from allegations that the United States' National Security Agency monitored the phone calls of world leaders and French citizens continued Friday, as relations between America and its European allies hit new lows.
After reports emerged that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile was monitored by the NSA, her chief of staff said Berlin presented Washington with an ultimatum: The United States would sign a "no spying" deal with Germany and France, as it has with the United Kingdom, doing away with mutual espionage.
Germany, meanwhile, is planning to send its top spy chiefs to Washington for talks with officials at the White House and the NSA about the spying allegations. A government spokesman said Friday the heads of the foreign and domestic intelligence agencies would “push forward” the investigation into claims Merkel's phone was under surveillance.
The spying allegations have become a particularly heated topic in Germany. Merkel stated this week that relations with the US have become "severely shaken."
"Trust needs to be rebuilt," Merkel said Friday.
"Obviously, words will not be sufficient," she added. "True change is necessary."
The European Parliament has already launched an inquiry into the NSA revelations leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, since they began in June.
France has lobbied strongly for stricter guidelines, and the European Parliament this week voted in favor of laws that would strengthen data protection dating back to 1995.
"The UK is leading the charge against it," a senior EU official was quoted as saying by the Guardian. "The UK position is bewildering. They're trying to delay it."
Unlike his mainland European counterparts, British Prime Minister David Cameron came out in defense of surveillance by intelligence services.
"What Snowden is doing and, to an extent, what the newspapers are doing in helping him do what he is doing, is frankly signaling to people who mean to do us harm how to evade and avoid intelligence and surveillance and other techniques," Cameron told reporters at a news conference in Brussels Friday.
Cameron's reaction might be attributed to the fact that the White House said his communications "have not, are not and will not be monitored" by the United States, when asked by the BBC.
The past tense was missing when the White House sought to reassure Merkel of the same thing.
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Both France and Germany summoned their US ambassadors following the reports earlier this week, and on Friday, Spain summoned its US ambassador over reports that the US had spied on several members of its government.
"We do not have evidence that Spain has been spied on ... but we are calling in the ambassador to get information," Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said after the EU summit.
A delegation of European lawmakers is expected to travel Washington on Monday to demand answers about the reports of widespread spying on EU citizens, governments and leaders.
The nine-member delegation will meet with US security officials to find legal remedies to protect EU citizens from US surveillance.
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European nations are not the only countries angry over US spying. Relations with Mexico and Brazil have soured after reports that their leaders' phones were tapped.