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Despite German fury, US mute on spy row

Published on Jul 11, 2014 2:40 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States on Thursday refused to break its silence about a spying row which led a furious Germany to expel the CIA station chief in Berlin, but concern deepened among lawmakers about damage to relations with Europe's dominant power.

Germany's decision was a stunning show of discord between two such close allies and a signal that Washington has failed to quell anger over revelations about its espionage tactics in Germany, which has been building for more than a year. But in contrast with the uproar in Berlin, Washington responded coolly, demurring when asked to comment on Germany's shock move, choosing to instead stress the value of its relationship with Berlin.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in Texas, where President Barack Obama was on the road, that any "sort of comment on any reported intelligence acts would put at risk US assets, US personnel and United States national security".

He said that the intelligence relationship between the two countries was crucial to the security of both Americans and Germans and that contacts with Berlin on the issue were taking place through diplomatic, intelligence and law enforcement channels.

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