Obama, Merkel still struggle over spying but agree on trade

U.S. President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel walk following their meeting to the herb and vegetable garden of the White House in WashingtonBy Jeff Mason and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel could not hide differences on Friday over U.S. surveillance practices despite Obama’s offer of “cyber dialogue” with Berlin and a pledge to bridge gaps that have tarnished their relationship. The two leaders have been at odds over the U.S. National Security Agency’s spying habits since revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year showed the United States had listened in on many of its allies, including Merkel. Obama has since banned the practice of eavesdropping on allied political leaders, but the measure has not placated Germany. “We have a few difficulties yet to overcome,” Merkel said in a joint news conference with Obama at the White House, referring to the conflict and pointedly declining to say, when asked, that trust between the two nations had been restored.

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