Germany, A US NATO Partner, Expels CIA Station Chief in Berlin
“The representative of the US intelligence services at the Embassy of the United States of America has been requested to leave Germany,” said Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for the German government in a statement released Thursday.
“The request was made against the backdrop of the ongoing investigations of the Federal Prosecutor General as well as the questions pending for months about the activities of the US intelligence services in Germany, for which the Lower House of Parliament has also established a parliamentary inquiry committee. The Federal Government takes these incidents very seriously,” the statement reads.
The US embassy in Berlin released a short statement acknowledging the reports of the expulsion, but refusing to comment “on intelligence matters.”
“However, our security relationship with Germany remains very important: it keeps Germans and Americans safe,” the statement reads. “It is also essential that our close cooperation with our German government partners continue in all areas.”
Relationships between the two allies have been stranded since allegations on the spying of Germany’s top politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, surfaced as a result of the Snowden leaks. Recently, tensions have escalated as two alleged German intelligence operatives have been accused of being double spies with the CIA.
Chancellor Merkel has expressed her disappointment over alleged US spying on her personal, unencrypted mobile phone.
“It remains vital for Germany, in the interest of the security of its citizens and its forces abroad, to cooperate closely and trustfully with western partners, in particular with the USA,” Seibert’s statement continued. “To do so, however, mutual trust and openness are necessary. The Federal Government continues to be ready for this and expects the same from its closest partners.”
A retaliatory measure, such as the expulsion of a German diplomat, is expected from the US government.