Germany's Merkel rejects suggestion her govt lied in 2013 over chances of US no-spy deal

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BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel is rejecting suggestions her government lied in 2013 about the United States' willingness to negotiate a "no-spy" agreement with Germany.

Merkel's then-chief of staff, Ronald Pofalla, said a few weeks before Germany's 2013 election that the U.S. had offered to negotiate such an agreement. The daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and two broadcasters, however, have reported in recent weeks there was no firm indication the White House would contemplate such a deal.

Asked in an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung published Saturday whether she had officials lie to the public, Merkel replied: "Of course not. There were talks between the American side and us which made it appear possible to agree such a deal."

Pofalla's statement followed revelations by Edward Snowden about U.S. National Security Agency surveillance.

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