White House won't comment on expulsion of top spy from Germany

Washington (AFP) - The White House Thursday refused to comment on reports Germany had expelled its top spy in the country over an espionage row, but stressed intelligence ties between the two nations were vital.

Germany took the shock move after investigating two German men alleged to be acting as double agents for US intelligence, the latest twist in a long running showdown over American covert activity in the country.

"We have seen these reports and have no comment on a purported intelligence matter," said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.

"However, our security and intelligence relationship with Germany is a very important one and it keeps Germans and Americans safe," Hayden said.

"It is essential that cooperation continue in all areas and we will continue be in touch with the German government in appropriate channels."