May 2 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said ''differences of opinion'' remain over surveillance even as U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to have 'cyber-dialogue' on the issue. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday "differences of opinion" remain over surveillance even as U.S. President Barack Obama pledged to have 'cyber-dialogue' on the issue to address gaps between the two countries over data monitoring and intelligence gathering. "We have a few difficulties yet to overcome," Merkel said in a joint news conference with Obama at the White House. Obama responded to the issue: "We are comitted to a US-German cyber dialouge to close further the gaps that may exist in terms of how we operate, how German intelligence operates, to make sure there's transparency and clarity about what we're doing and what our goals and intentions are." Obama also said the United States does not have a blanket "no spy" agreement with any country and that it is not accurate to say the United States offered and withdrew a "no spy" agreement with Germany. Reports last October - based on disclosures by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden - that Washington had monitored Merkel's mobile phone caused outrage in Germany, which is particularly sensitive about surveillance because of abuses under the East German Stasi secret police and the Nazis. In January, Obama banned U.S. eavesdropping on the leaders of close allies and began reining in the vast collection of phone data on Americans. But he also said U.S. intelligence agencies would continue to gather information about the intentions of other governments.