The United States and Germany put a brave face on an escalating espionage dispute, stressing Sunday the importance of their cooperation to solving several global crises but offering little indication they’ve fully mended ties. After a meeting on the sidelines of nuclear talks in Vienna, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier and Secretary of State Kerry each extolled the value of the two NATO allies’ work together on issues such as Iran and Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Steinmeier directly addressed the difficult time in the key trans-Atlantic partnership, without explicitly mentioning the reports of two German government officials recruited by American intelligence. The accounts have rocked relations, coming on the heels of revelations about widespread U.S. spying in Germany.
“Relations between Germany and the U.S. are necessary and indispensable, and that’s for both of our sides,” Steinmeier told reporters in German. Still, he acknowledged the recent “difficulties” and urged that relations “revive on the basis of trust and mutual respect.”