Merkel envoys at White House to discuss U.S.-German intelligence cooperation

WASHINGTON Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:02am EDT

A mobile phone simulating a call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and computer with a series of numbers is seen in this multiple exposure picture illustration taken in Frankfurt October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

A mobile phone simulating a call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and computer with a series of numbers is seen in this multiple exposure picture illustration taken in Frankfurt October 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A German delegation is visiting the White House on Wednesday to discuss ways to intensify U.S.-German intelligence sharing after reports that the U.S. National Security Agency monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone.

President Barack Obama is under pressure to reassure allies a week after reports surfaced about the scope and scale of U.S. intelligence gathering.

German's national security adviser, Christoph Heusgen, and the German chancellery intelligence coordinator, Guenter Heiss, are to meet White House national security adviser Susan Rice and Obama's homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco.

U.S. national intelligence director James Clapper and the deputy director of the National Security Agency, Chris Inglis will also participate.

Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said the meeting grew out of Obama's telephone conversation last week with Merkel. In that conversation, Obama told Merkel the United States is not now and will not in the future monitor her mobile phone.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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