German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) poses with US President Barack Obama at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany on June 19, 2013
BERLIN: The US intelligence service will continue to spy on foreign governments, President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast yesterday, although he assured Chancellor Angela Merkel that he would not let intrusive surveillance harm their relationship.
The frank admission comes a day after Obama curtailed the reach of mass US National Security Agency phone surveillance sweeps, but said bulk collection of data would go on to protect America from terrorists.
In Friday’s long-awaited speech aimed at quelling international furore over the widespread eavesdropping revealed by Edward Snowden, Obama also said he had halted spy taps on friendly world leaders.
But Obama told German television ZDF’s heute-journal that intelligence gathering on foreign governments will continue.
“Our intelligence agencies, like German intelligence agencies, and every intelligence agency out there, will continue to be interested in the government intentions of countries around the world.