The BBC News reported on Friday that Germany is sending its top intelligence officials to Washington D.C. amidst allegations that the United States has spied on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The heads of Germany’s foreign and domestic intelligence services and the coordinator of the federal intelligence services will all be traveling to Washington in the near future. A government spokesperson for Germany has said that the officials hope to push forward talks with the White House and the NSA in order to gather more information about the alleged U.S. spying.
The United States has been in talks with German intelligence officials for the past several months and leaders of both countries have agreed to increase cooperation. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden told reporters that
We understand that German officials plan to travel to Washington in coming weeks, and the U.S. government looks forward to meeting with them.”
In light of the unauthorised disclosure of classified documents by Edward Snowden, the United States has come under fire by world leaders for spying operations operating through the NSA. As a result, President Obama has directed the government to review its surveillance capabilities. European leaders are particularly upset by the spying claims as they fear it will weaken relations between Europe and the United States, and have a detrimental effect on intelligence gathering.