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Hot Water: German Foreign Minister Summons US Ambassador


US Ambassador to Germany John B. Emerson, left, took office just months ago. Zoom

US Ambassador to Germany John B. Emerson, left, took office just months ago.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has summoned the new American ambassador to Berlin over allegations the US has been tapping Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle on Thursday took the unusual step of summoning the American ambassador to Germany to an afternoon meeting in Berlin in the wake of reports that the US might have spied on Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone.

Westerwelle felt compelled to call Ambassador John B. Emerson in following reports on Wednesday night that the US government possibly monitored Merkel's communications, Foreign Ministry sources told SPIEGEL ONLINE.

The foreign minister is to meet on Thursday afternoon with Emerson, who has only been in Berlin since August. The meeting is indicative of how seriously Berlin is taking the situation, since normally the government's point of view is relayed through subordinates at the Foreign Ministry to the individual ambassadors.

According to sources at the Foreign Ministry, Westerwelle is expected to make clear the "incomprehension and outrage from the German side" over the reported monitoring of a close ally and partner. The particular details must still be explained and checked to see if the information and assurances given by the US were right, the sources said.

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1. Merkel's Phone
mrgrumpy 10/24/2013
|Good. Make some diplomatic waves. The US is no benign friend. But, but. Surely Merkel's phone was not insecure? The Americans are off the plot.
2. obama
spon-facebook-10000676507 10/24/2013
obama owns this spying scandal. He planned it and executed it. He tightly controls the US media but lets hope the Euro press keeps after him.
3. optional
poliman 10/25/2013
Why surprised. Who did not know that this was happening. Is the Pope Catholic?
4. Embarrassed
CA_MAN 10/27/2013
As an American, I am deeply embarrassed by these allegations. I certainly hope they are false and exaggerated. However, I have the feeling they aren’t. There is no excuse for spying on friends. I have been to Europe many times and consider Europeans generally to be the best people on earth. I voted for Obama twice. I now feel that perhaps he should resign.
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