Obama Steps up WikiLeaks Damage Control

Saturday, 11 Dec 2010 07:09 PM

 

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WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama told Turkish and Mexican leaders on Saturday that WikiLeaks' actions were "deplorable" as the U.S. administration kept up damage control efforts over the website's embarrassing release of masses of secret U.S. cables.

In Obama's separate calls with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, the leaders all agreed that WikiLeaks' campaign would not harm their countries' ties with Washington, the White House said.

The leaks touching on U.S. relations in virtually every part of the world have threatened to increase tensions with allies, spurring U.S. officials to seek to prevent foreign friends from reducing engagement on sensitive matters.

Documents relating to Turkey showed U.S. diplomats casting doubt on the reliability of their NATO ally and portraying its leadership as divided.

In Obama's call to Erdogan on Saturday, the two discussed "the enduring importance of the U.S.-Turkish partnership and affirmed their commitment to work together on a broad range of issues," the White House said.

"The president expressed his regrets for the deplorable action by WikiLeaks and the two leaders agreed that it will not influence or disrupt the close cooperation between the United States and Turkey," it said.

Obama made similar comments to Calderon, which the U.S. leader used to praise his Mexican counterpart for the outcome of an international climate change conference in Cancun.

"The presidents also underscored the importance of the U.S.-Mexico partnership across a broad range of issues," the White House said. "The presidents discussed the deplorable actions by WikiLeaks and agreed its irresponsible acts should not distract our two countries from our important cooperation."

According to State Department documents made public by WikiLeaks, a top Mexican official said the government was in danger of losing control of parts of the country to powerful drug cartels.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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