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Merkel seeks 'no spy deal'

Angela Merkel wants a ‘no spy deal with the EU, to that pursued by Germany & France by the US.

US President Barack Obama with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel during the family picture of the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg, on 23 October 2013. Picture: AFP

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel wants the European Union's 28 member states to reach a "no spy deal" similar to an agreement France and Germany seek with the United State following allegations Washington tapped her mobile phone.

A German government spokesman late on Friday confirmed Merkel had made such a proposal to European leaders gathered at a summit in Brussels. Sources who attended the meeting said they appeared to be open to the suggestion.

Charges that the US National Security Agency (NSA) accessed tens of thousands of French phone records as well as monitored Merkel's phone have caused outrage in Europe. Germany said on Friday it will send its top intelligence chiefs to Washington next week to seek answers from the White House.

Merkel demanded on Thursday that Washington strike a "no spying" agreement with Berlin and Paris by the end of the year, adding she wanted action from US President Barack Obama, not just apologetic words.

Sources said she was also adamant that EU countries should strike a similar deal under which their intelligence agencies would cooperate and not spy on one another.