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Germany calls on US to stop spying after expulsion order

German politicians on Friday called on the United States to stop all spying activities against Germany and to work together to revive bilateral ties on the basis of honesty.

This latest German plea follows Thursday's expulsion of the U.S. intelligence chief in Berlin.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas told the Passauer Neue Presse on Friday that the United States should disclose all its espionage activities in Germany and stop all related practices immediately.

"The Americans must now actively help clarify the allegations," Maas said. "This includes a clear statement on any other cases of espionage which we may not know about yet. Above all, we need a binding assurance from Washington that these activities will be stopped once and for all," he added.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday he would discuss the transatlantic spy row with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry when both attend Iran nuclear talks in Vienna this weekend.

Steinmeier said Germany's expulsion of the U.S. intelligence chief was an "unavoidable consequence after the breach of trust," adding that German-American cooperation must be built "on trust but also on mutual respect."

He noted the partnership and friendship between the two countries should be "revitalized on the basis of honesty." "This will be the message I will deliver to my American colleague John Kerry when we met at the weekend in Vienna," the minister said.

The German government on Thursday asked the representative of U.S. intelligence agencies to leave Germany after months of frustration at the lack of cooperation by the United States to clear up the NSA spying scandal as well as the latest uncovering of two alleged U.S. spies working in German intelligence and the German Defense Ministry.

Germany's decision to expel the American diplomat is believed to be "unprecedented" in its bilateral relationship. There are no comments yet from Washington after the expulsion order.

Revelations of U.S. data gathering practices by Edward Snowden, especially allegations about the tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone, have led to explicit criticism in Germany and strained relations between Germany and the United States.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest earlier this week told reporters at a daily news briefing that the United States will work with Germany over the latest spy row that threatens to further damage bilateral ties.

[Source: Xinhua, Berlin, 11Jul14]

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