European Leaders Accuse U.S. of Violating Trust

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from The Wall Street Journal,

American Ambassador to Meet German Foreign Minister Thursday Afternoon.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived at a European Union summit in Brussels on Thursday

Outrage over alleged U.S. monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal cellphone spread across Europe on Thursday, threatening to complicate an array of America’s trans-Atlantic interests.

As European leaders took turns castigating the U.S. at a regularly scheduled summit in Brussels, however, they also sought to begin to steer the conversation away from the political bluster that threatens to inflict serious damage on the trans-Atlantic relationship.

Ms. Merkel and French President François Hollande said their countries planned to hold bilateral talks with U.S. intelligence agencies with the goal of developing a “mutual understanding for the cooperation of intelligence agencies” by year’s end.

“It’s become clear that in the future, something needs to change—and I mean seriously change,” Ms. Merkel said in a late news conference in Brussels.

The U.S. scrambled to respond, privately pointing out that other countries benefit from the intelligence it collects—and that some other countries do the same. At the White House, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in response to the French and German proposal that the U.S. was committed to working bilaterally with both countries.

On Thursday, she said that trust had broken down. Her foreign minister switched to English at a news conference in Berlin to tell Americans, “We need the truth now.”

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