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Amid new spy scandal, Kerry says U.S., Germany 'great friends'

Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 02:07

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stresses the strategic importance of U.S-German relations, which have been battered by new allegations of U.S. spying on Berlin. Mana Rabiee reports.

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For the cameras, it was all smiles and handshakes. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his German counterpart on Sunday in Vienna, Austria. That's where Western powers are in talks with Iran over its nuclear program. But behind the smiles, US-German relations have been battered by fresh allegations of U.S. spying on Berlin. Kerry didn't address the latest spying scandal but his comments did appear aimed at suturing tattered relations. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, JOHN KERRY, SAYING: "Let me emphasize: the relationship between the United States and Germany is a strategic one. We have enormous political cooperation and we are great friends and we will continue to work together with the kind of spirit that we exhibited today in a very thorough discussion and it is my pleasure to say to the prime minister tonight: Gute Gluck in der Welt Meisterschaft!" That's German for 'good luck at the World Cup' -- where Germany was playing in finals against Argentina. Germany last week asked the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave the country, after unearthing two suspected U.S. spies. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter has said he wants to discuss the new spying accusations. But on Sunday he said U.S.-German ties are crucial for resolving broader international conflicts like the wars in the Middle East. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, SAYING: "I say this also with reference to certain difficulties that have arisen in our bi-lateral relations in recent weeks. We know this, we have talked about this but nonetheless we say that German-U.S. ties are - especially in view of the conflicts going on around us - necessary and essential for both of us. As a result of this, we want to work on reviving this relationship, on a foundation of trust and mutual respect." His comments come one day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Berlin and Washington are at odds over the role of intelligence. She she's hoping Berlin's actions last week will persuade the U.S. not to spy on its partners.

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Amid new spy scandal, Kerry says U.S., Germany 'great friends'

Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 02:07