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John Kerry in Germany to mend relations

Posted on Feb 01 2014 | IANS

Berlin, Feb 1 : In a bid to strengthen ties between the two countries following recent spying scandal that soured relations, US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday held talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier here .

"We have gone in recent months through a tough phase," Xinnhua quoted Kerry as saying while not directly mentioning alleged US tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone. "But I want to talk about the future and strengthen trust again."

Steinmeier said recent events could not "destroy" the German-American partnership.

After meeting Steinermeier, the visiting US secretary of state told reporters that the US understood Germany's anger but that tensions should not ruin the "long-standing friendship" between the two countries.

Kerry said Merkel and US President Barack Obama had started consultations on whether the White House would sign a no-spying agreement as demanded by Germany after the tapping scandal.

The US and Germany have "a long history of great cooperation on complicated issues like counter terrorism, national security and defence," Kerry added.

Kerry is scheduled to meet Merkel during his stay in Berlin and leave for Munich to attend the Munich Security Conference, where he will also meet Ukrainian opposition leaders for the first time.

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