The German government will continue talks with the United States on reaching a "non-spying" agreement, Germany's governing coalition parties said during a parliament debate on Wednesday.
The efforts of the U.S. government to clarify the National Security Agency's monitoring activities were "very unsatisfactory", but exactly that is the reason why Germany should continue negotiations on the agreement, Germen media quoted Gunter Kring, Parliamentary State Secretary of the Interior Ministry, as saying to the lower house of parliament.
Krings, member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU), noted that German laws apply to partners and their safety authorities within German territory without exceptions. "This is not negotiable," he said.
Several other CDU members as well as law makers from Merkel's coalition partner, the Social Democrats, pointed out that the United States is and will remain an ally and Germany has an interest in continuing cooperation between U.S. and German intelligence services.
The debate in German parliament came after German media reported that German-U.S. talks on forging an agreement to prevent further U.S. snooping within German borders were set to fail, which led to strong reactions among German politicians from both the governing coalition as well as opposition parties.
However, both countries brushed aside the report on Tuesday, saying their talks on the "non-spy" deal were still ongoing.
Relations between Germany and the United States have been strained by revelations of U.S. mass surveillance of online and phone data, including Merkel's mobile phone.
Germany announced in August that Berlin and Washington would negotiate an agreement not to spy on each other after the revelations which has caused widespread unease in Germany.