German official doubtful on binding no-spy deal

February 13, 2014
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

The German government's new coordinator for trans-Atlantic relations says he doubts talks aimed at securing a "no-spy" agreement with the U.S. will produce a deal that's legally binding.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is seeking such an accord following revelations about surveillance by the National Security Agency, including allegations Merkel's cellphone was monitored.

Earlier this week, President Barack Obama said there's no country with which Washington has "a no-spy agreement."

Philipp Missfelder, who recently took on the coordinator role, told reporters on Thursday that Berlin is continuing to push for a deal, but he's "realistic" and doesn't expect "that there will be an agreement that is binding under international law."

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