November 6, 2013
Britain’s ambassador has been called in by the German Foreign Minister after The Independent disclosed allegations that a secret listening post is operating from its embassy in Berlin, just yards from the German parliament and Angela Merkel’s offices.
Simon McDonald met senior officials and was bluntly warned that any interception of data by intelligence services from a diplomatic facility would be in violation of international law. It is believed to be the first time that Germany has called in a UK ambassador in this way since the end of the Second World War.
Documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the US National Security Agency whistleblower, suggest that the UK is operating an “intercept nest” from the roof of its embassy. After the claims received widespread attention in the German media, the Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, requested a statement from the ambassador.
Mr McDonald, formerly David Cameron’s foreign policy adviser and head of foreign and defence policy in the Cabinet Office, relayed the conversation back to London. Last month, Mr summoned the US ambassador, who received an official complaint following revelations about a listening post on top of the American embassy that was intercepting calls from Chancellor Merkel’s mobile phone. The US and UK embassies are just yards apart, close to the Bundestag and the Chancellery, Mrs Merkel’s prime ministerial offices.
This article was posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 5:52 am