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Berlin rejects calls for US envoy's expulsion over spy affair

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Dec 3, IRNA -- The German government on Friday dismissed calls for the expulsion of American ambassador Philip Murphy for his role in a spying affair involving a close aide of German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Speaking at a regular weekly press briefing in Berlin, chancellery spokesman Steffen Seibert stressed the government was 'not thinking at all' to ask for Murphy's recall.

At least two senior members of the co-ruling Free Democratic Party have urged Murphy's expulsion from Germany in the wake of the latest revelations that Westerwelle's office manager, Helmut Metzner was working as a mole for the US diplomatic mission in last year's government coalition talks.

American diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks earlier this week uncovered that the US embassy had planted an informer in the center-right government coalition negotiations between the Christian Democrats (CDU) and their junior partner FDP following the general elections in September 2009.

'FDP source is a young, up-and-coming party loyalist,' the leaked cable from the US embassy in Berlin said.

The spying scandal has become a major embarrassment for not only Westerwelle but also the German government which often prides itself of having such good relations with the US.

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