Germany accused of spying on Kerry and Clinton

Hillary Clinton and John Kerry at a news conference in Washington DC -  2 August 2007 Both John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton were said to have been accidentally recorded

Germany's foreign intelligence agency eavesdropped on US Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton, German media reports say.

Der Spiegel magazine says the calls were collected accidentally and the recordings were destroyed immediately.

Mr Kerry has reportedly spoken to his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, about the claims.

Correspondents say the reports will embarrass Germany after a row about the US spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Der Spiegel said the German intelligence agency had tapped a satellite phone call Mr Kerry made in 2013.

Reports in German daily newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcasters NDR and WDR said documents passed to the CIA show German spies had also eavesdropped on Hillary Clinton when she was US Secretary of State.

US President Barack Obama with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a G7 dinner in Brussels, Belgium - 4 June 2014 Relations between Angela Merkel and President Obama were strained by claims the US bugged her phone

German government sources told the newspaper and two broadcasters, that they intercepted the call by chance, and she had not been deliberately targeted. They also said it happened just once.

But media reports said it had not been an isolated case.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Berlin declined to comment on the reports.

If confirmed the revelations could prove difficult for Germany. Relations with the United States have deteriorated amid allegations of American spying on Germany.

The head of the CIA in the country was expelled last month, after it emerged the agency had tapped Chancellor Merkel's mobile phone.

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