German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a visit to the White House, where she met President Obama. It’s the first time the two leaders have been together since last year’s revelations that the US secretly monitored Merkel’s cell phone. CCTV’s White House correspondent Jessica Stone reports.
German Chancellor visits White HouseGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a visit to the White House, where she met President Obama. It's the first time the two leaders have been together since last year's revelations that the US secretly monitored Merkel's cell phone. CCTV’s White House correspondent Jessica Stone reports.
The European press peppered both leaders about the trust deficit that appeared between Germany and the U.S. over those US spying allegations. That came, despite efforts by the White House, to focus the agenda on Ukraine.
The leaders had a total of four hours of discussions on Friday, including a working lunch. And there were no new developments in really working out their differences on the NSA spying matter. The U.S. says it’s working towards extending American privacy rights to non-U.S. citizens and will use the existing U.S.-German cyber dialogue to close gaps between the two nations’ intelligence agencies. But the U.S. president called Merkel a close friend and partner on the world stage. He said the tensions between the U.S. and Germany brought about by the revelations of NSA contractor Edward Snowden — were personally painful to him. He also shot down claims in the press that the U.S. had offered and then withdrawn a quote: ‘no-spy’ agreement with Germany.
U.S. President Barack Obama says: “It’s not quite accurate to say that U.S. offered no spy and then withdrew it. What’s accurate to say is that we don’t have a blanket no spy agreement with any of our closest partners.”
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, also says: “It’s very good that we have taken first steps, what’s still dividing us. Issues of proportionality and the like will be addressed- we will work on this. It’s on agenda for next few weeks to come.”
Despite some uncomfortable moments in their public press conference over the NSA issue, Chancellor Merkel and President Obama presented a united front when it comes to what’s going on in Ukraine. Merkel made it clear she wants the May 25th elections to go forward and has called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to use his influence to make that possible.
CCTV’s Mike Walter interviews Christopher Chivvis, Senior Political Scientist at the Rand Corporation in Washington, on the importance of Angela Merkel’s visit to the United States.