Obama discusses surveillance activities with Merkel

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OBAMAWashington, July 4;The U.S. President Barack Obama has called up the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to discuss with the latter’s concerns over the alleged surveillance activities of National Security Agency of the United States.

“The President and the Chancellor discussed the recent reports of surveillance activities allegedly conducted by the U.S. National Security Agency. The President assured the Chancellor that the United States takes seriously the concerns of our European allies and partners,” the White House said in a readout of the telephonic conversation between the two leaders on Wednesday.

Mr. Obama and Ms. Merkel reaffirmed the importance of continued close cooperation between intelligence services of the two nations in the fight against terrorism and other threats to the security of the United States, Germany, and their allies.

“The leaders agreed to hold a high-level meeting of U.S. and German security officials in the coming days to discuss these matters in greater detail,” the readout said.

“They also looked forward to the initiation of a U.S.-EU/EU Member State dialogue on the collection and oversight of intelligence and questions of privacy and data protection, as proposed by Attorney General Eric Holder, as early as July 8,” the White House said.

The two leaders reiterated their strong support for the launch of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations and welcomed the upcoming first round of discussions, the White House said.

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