“The trans-Atlantic alliance remains for us Germans of exceptional importance,” Merkels spokesman, Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin. He added that Germany had benefitted more than virtually any other nation from its friendly relations with the United States and that this was a major factor to be weighed up in any and all decisions the government made.Seibert also ruled out the idea of Berlin granting former NSA subcontractor Edward Snowden asylum in Germany, so that he could testify before a parliamentary committee looking into the US spying allegations. Snowdens situation, he said, did not meet the criteria for such a move.Hermann Gröhe, the general secretary of Chancellor Merkels Christian Democratic Union CDU, made a similar statement, noting that the United States, which wants to put Snowden on trial on espionage charges, has a valid extradition agreement with Germany.
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