OBAMA SPEAKS WITH MERKEL AFTER SPY ROW

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: US President Barack Obama on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) spoke to Chancellor Angela Merkel for the first time since a row over US spying prompted Germany to turf out the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) station chief in Berlin. Ben Rhodes, a US deputy national security advisor, said on Twitter that the two leaders discussed “Ukraine, Iran and US-German cooperation.” Obama and Merkel have forged a firm working relationship, but successive revelations about US spying and surveillance have strained US-German ties and put the German leader under intense political pressure at home. The call came on the eve of a meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels which will consider toughening sanctions on Russia over what the West sees as destabilizing behavior in Ukraine.

AFP

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