00:37 GMT29 July 2021
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    US President Barack Obama could skip the Group of Seven (G7) June summit in Bavaria if the German government hands over a list of US spying targets to parliament, German tabloid Bild said citing its sources on Tuesday.

    BERLIN (Sputnik) — The two-day summit is scheduled to kick off on June 7 in Bavaria’s castle Elmau, less than 60 miles from the notorious Bad Aibling monitoring station used by US spying agency NSA to eavesdrop on EU firms and officials. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Socialist coalition partners regard NSA snooping on EU targets as a violation of EU and German laws.

    The Socialist Democrat (SPD) Secretary General Yasmin Fahimi told Bild on Tuesday they had given the chancellery until June 8 to disclose the lists of so-called selectors – email addresses and phone numbers – that the NSA passed on to its German colleagues in Bavaria. SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel said this was not an ultimatum, but added that he expected Merkel to comply.

    According to Bild sources in the government, the US president could bow out of the summit if the Merkel administration caved in to demands of its coalition partners.

    An unnamed US National Security Council spokesperson denied the suggestion, saying Obama has never contemplated threatening Berlin with skipping the Bavarian summit. But a US security source told Bild they considered an aftermath of a possible disclosure to be potentially more detrimental to the US-German intelligence cooperation than the 2013 Snowden scandal.

    According to German security sources, the NSA could limit cooperation with Germany’s BND intelligence agency in warning of possible terrorist attacks if its spying targets are dragged into the light, the tabloid reported.

    A spying scandal erupted in summer 2013 after documents posted online by former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA was snooping on world leaders using the Bad Aibling facility and had even bugged Merkel’s private cellphone. Despite the chancellor’s pledge of a no-spy deal with Washington, German media learned in April that unlawful surveillance by the NSA using German resources continued into 2015.


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    summit, espionage, G7, NSA, BND, Angela Merkel, US, Germany
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