The uproar comes after Danish public radio reported on Sunday that the country’s intelligence service is helping the United States eavesdropping on European officials For nearly a decade.
NBC News has not verified the authenticity of the report, which has put the case back in the spotlight years after it first appeared ظهور Diplomatic dispute between Washington and Berlin.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that US wiretapping of European countries “among allies” was unacceptable.
Macron said that it is “related to the relationship of trust between Europeans and Americans,” stressing that “there is no room for doubt between us.”
Merkel said she could not help repeat Macron’s position, noting that the allegations relate to events a few years ago, but they are dangerous, if true.
Officials from Sweden and Norway joined the criticism, saying they wanted Denmark to clarify its alleged involvement.
“We want cards on the table,” Swedish Defense Minister Peter Holkvist said, adding that “it is unacceptable to eavesdrop on allies.”
What are the allegations?
Danish Radio reported on Sunday that the Danish Defense Intelligence Service, known in Denmark by the acronym FE, conducted an internal investigation in 2014 that concluded that the United States had used cooperation with the Danes to help Denmark spy on neighboring countries.
The National Security Agency (NSA) allegedly used Danish resources to spy on top officials in Germany, France, Sweden and Norway from 2012 to 2014 in an initiative called Operation Dunhammer.
NBC News did not review the report.
A State Department spokesperson asked for comment and referred NBC News to the NSA, while an NSA spokesperson said intelligence had “no comment” on the allegations.
NBC News has contacted FE and the French government for comment.
A German government spokesman referred NBC News to Merkel’s comments, saying officials had nothing to add.
In a joint statement with NBC News, Defense Minister Trine Bramsen said the Danish government cannot and will not “comment on media speculation about our intelligence.”
But she said: “The Danish government’s position is clear – a systematic focus on our close allies is unacceptable.”
This is clearly a well-established principle to which the Danish authorities adhere.”
Bramsen was appointed to her post in 2019 after years of suspected wiretapping during former President Barack Obama’s tenure.
Obama’s tenure in the White House saw a friendly relationship with Berlin damaged by reports in 2013 that the National Security Agency had been eavesdropping on German government phone lines, including Merkel’s.
The allegations first surfaced in reports leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, who responded to the latest report with a sarcastic tweet in Danish: “Oh, why didn’t anyone warn us?”
Obama apologized to Merkel at the time and also said that he did not know anything about the alleged espionage and would have stopped him in this case.
Biden vows to “fix” US alliances and reconnect with the world after four years US President Donald Trump’s “America First” Doctrine.
On his first day in office, Biden signed a number of orders reinforcing that commitment, including a return to the Paris climate agreement and the World Health Organization.
The trip to Europe will be Biden’s first major opportunity to articulate his foreign policy vision on the international stage and a chance to convince his colleagues that America can once again be a reliable partner.
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