Germany and France have demanded talks with the US by the end of the year to restore trust between the countries in the wake of the spying row.

Revelations that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was tapped by America has threatened to derail a multibillion-pound free trade deal between the US and European Union.

Speaking from the EU summit in Brussels, Ms Merkel said they wanted to “create a framework” with America on surveillance.

The row came after it emerged that the US monitored the phones of 35 world leaders, according to a National Security Agency (NSA) document leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Ms Merkel branded the claims “unacceptable” and said it was “really not on” for “friends to spy on each other”.

US President Barack Obama promised her – via a phone call – that US intelligence services are “not monitoring and will not monitor” her communications.

However, Washington did not explicitly deny that her phoned had been tapped in the past.

Press secretary Jay Carney said the White House is “not going to get into specific allegations that have been made in public reports”.

Mr Snowden’s confidential memo shows the NSA obtained 35 unnamed world leaders’ phone numbers from one senior official in another government department, who passed on contacts for some 200 people.

According to the report in The Guardian newspaper, the agency encouraged officials in departments such as the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon to share “rolodexes” filled with numbers for foreign politicians and military leaders. see more