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Obama invites Merkel to Washington after phone-tap row

Published on Jan 9, 2014 5:05 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Wednesday invited German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Washington in an effort to mend fences after a diplomatic crisis provoked by revelations of US eavesdropping on her mobile phone.

Mr Obama called Ms Merkel to wish her a speedy recovery after her recent skiing injury and invited her to visit at a "mutually agreeable time in the coming months," the White House said in a statement.

Ms Merkel reacted furiously last year to revelations that the National Security Agency had been listening in on her mobile phone calls, telling Mr Obama in an October telephone call that such action would be a "breach of trust" between two allies.

The reports in US and European media outlets, sourced from documents leaked by fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, damaged US relations with key allies and were a political and personal embarrassment for Mr Obama.

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