German leader to visit US amid discord over NSA

  • Posted: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 5:18 p.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, January 9, 2014 12:12 a.m.

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has accepted an invitation to visit the United States, months after allegations that U.S. intelligence had tapped her phone strained relations between Berlin and Washington, D.C.

In a call on Wednesday, President Barack Obama congratulated Merkel on forming a new government last month and wished her speedy recovery from a recent skiing accident.

Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said Obama also invited Merkel to Washington, D.C. “in the coming months,” which she accepted.

The White House said both leaders noted the agenda that awaits them this year, including negotiations toward a proposed free-trade deal between the U.S. and the EU, and a NATO summit in the spring.

Merkel has previously said the relationship between Germany and the U.S. was “put on test” by allegations of massive spying by the U.S. National Security Agency, including on foreign leaders.

The White House has denied that the U.S. is listening in on Merkel’s phone calls now, but hasn’t ruled out that this happened in the past.

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