Germany asks top U.S. intelligence official to leave country

BY Justin Scuiletti  July 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM EST

Obama And German Chancellor Merkel Hold Joint Press Conference At White House

The top representative for United States intelligence at the U.S. embassy in Berlin has been asked to leave Germany.

The move by the German government comes in the aftermath of two recent allegations of U.S. spying in the country, where a man has been arrested and another is under investigation for reportedly aiding U.S. intelligence. Those charges, combined with the continued friction over reported surveillance by the National Security Agency and the resistance of U.S. cooperation, has left the German government in a sour mood.

“The government takes these activities very seriously. It is essential and in the interest of the security of its citizens and its forces abroad for Germany to collaborate closely and trustfully with its western partners, especially the U.S.,” said Steffen Seibert, the spokesman for German President Angela Merkel. “But mutual trust and openness is necessary. The government is still prepared to do so and expects the same of its closest partners.”