Obama tells Germans spying won't damage ties

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Associated Press

Posted on January 18, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Updated Sunday, Jan 19 at 1:03 AM

BERLIN (AP) — President Barack Obama has told German television that he will not allow U.S. spying to damage relations with Germany and other allies.

Obama made the pledge in an interview with Germany's ZDF television broadcast Saturday night. The interview appeared to be aimed at repairing the damage to U.S. relations with Germany and other countries following reports that the U.S. National Security Agency had monitored communications of European citizens and had even listened in on Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.

Obama says he has built a close relationship with Merkel and could not allow U.S. surveillance operations to damage that trust.

Obama, according to a simultaneous German translation of his remarks, says that "as long as I am president of the United States, the German chancellor need not worry about that."

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