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Pompeo tells Germany: Use Huawei and lose the access to our data

BERLIN (reuters) – The United States increased the pressure on the Western allies in a war of attrition over the next generation networks on Friday, saying countries that allow China’s Huawei to build their telecommunications infrastructure to be cut off from critical intelligence data.

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo issued the warning after a meeting with Minister of Foreign affairs, Heiko Maas, of Germany, at present, was with great Britain and France in a decrease of calls to the prohibition of the state in the property of the manufacturer of the 5G-networks built.

In the latest sign of escalating trans-Atlantic tensions over trade and security, Pompeo, on the first leg of a five-day European tour, said that while countries would be a “sovereign” on which equipment to use, that decision would have consequences.

“(There is) a risk we must change our behaviour in the light of the fact that we can’t allow that data about individual citizens, or the data on the national security to go over networks that we do not trust (in),” he told a press conference.

Pompeo later, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for short talks, fly to Switzerland, describing Germany as “a large, important partner and ally of the United States”.

Merkel herself had just flown in from the United States the night before, after delivering a speech to graduating Harvard students in which they urged them to “tear down walls of ignorance” and to stand for the truth about lies – words widely interpreted as a disguised criticism of the AMERICAN President Donald Trump.

“The US is and remains our most important partner outside Europe,” Merkel told reporters ahead of the meeting. “We have a lot of problems to discuss, because the world is not in peace,” she added, indicating the challenge to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and impeding of Iran’s “aggressive actions”.

Pompeo urged close ally Britain this month not to use Huawei technology for the build of new 5G networks because of concerns can be a vehicle for Chinese spying.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, responding to similar comments on Huawei made by the AMERICAN Vice-President Mike Pence is in Canada on Thursday, said that the United States still had to prove that Huawei products a security risk.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas during a meeting in Villa Borsig guest house in Berlin, Germany, May 31, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

“We hope the United States to stop this wrong, actions which are not in accordance with their status and position as a great country,” said spokesman Geng Shuang.

The United States is in conflict with the German allies on a range of topics, from trade to military spending and the nuclear non-proliferation.

IRAN AGREEMENT

Pompeo’s visit had been scheduled earlier this month but was cancelled at the last moment, when tensions rose over Iran. Berlin and Washington are differences of opinion about the best approach to Iran over its nuclear program.

Under the 2015 nuclear agreement with the major powers, which Washington withdrew last year, Tehran accepted curbs on the program for the enrichment of uranium in exchange for the removal of most international sanctions.

Iran’s decision this month to come back of a number of obligations under the accord – in response to U.S. measures to cripple the economy threatens to unravel the deal.

The German Ministry of Foreign affairs said on its website: “Germany and the united states agree: For the security of the region, it is crucial that Iran not obtain nuclear weapons.”

Maas stressed during his conversation with Pompeo that “as long as Tehran abides by the agreed rules, the agreement makes the region safer,” the ministry added. A German envoy to strive for the preservation of the nuclear deal visited Iran last week.

But in the comments on Iran in a conversation in the German daily Bild on Saturday, Pompeo said: “We hope that Germany is no more … The (Iranian) regime is an expansionist theocracy. Free democracies have a duty to protect the world from this threat.”

Slideshow (16 Images)

Pompeo also took a swipe at the German government for the failure to achieve NATO goal of spending 2% of national income on defence, telling Bild: “The most serious consequence is in the hands of the German population.”

“The federal government has given the promise of 2%, and the people should demand that the government keeps the promise,” he said in typically blunt comments in the direction of a NATO ally.

Reporting by Paul Carrel and Joseph Nasr in Berlin, Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Writing by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Frances Kerry and Stephen Powell

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