News / USA

Clinton Says Leaks Will Not Impede US Diplomacy

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks in to shake hands with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana on December 1, 2010 during a welcoming ceremony of the OSCE Summit.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks in to shake hands with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana on December 1, 2010 during a welcoming ceremony of the OSCE Summit.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the leak of thousands of State Department documents "will not in any way" interfere with ongoing American diplomacy.  Clinton met on the sidelines of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe summit in Kazakhstan with a number of world leaders named in classified documents published by WikiLeaks.  

Clinton has been the most visible member of the Obama administration in condemning the unauthorized leaks as, among other things, an "attack" on the United States' foreign policy interests, its alliances and partnerships.

But at a news event with Kazakh Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev capping a day of diplomatic meetings, many of which dealt with the WikiLeaks affair, Clinton sounded hopeful that actual damage to U.S. international relationships will be minimal.

"I have certainly raised the issue of the leaks, in order to assure our colleagues that it will not in any way interfere with American diplomacy, or our commitment to continuing important work that is ongoing," said Clinton. "I have not had any concerns expressed about whether any nation will not continue to work with, and discuss matters of importance to us both going forward."

Clinton said she came to the OSCE gathering anticipating a lot of questions about the leaks, and that one reason she attended the summit was to reassure U.S. partners that the Obama administration is committed to a "robust and comprehensive" agenda of engagement.

The leaked papers, mainly reports to Washington from U.S. diplomats in the field, reportedly contain unflattering comments on a number of world leaders, including Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was said to prefer Gulf vacations to spending winter days in wind-swept Astana.

Clinton held a bilateral meeting with Mr. Nazerbayev, and afterward Foreign Minister Saudabayev brushed aside the controversy as something commonplace in diplomatic affairs. He spoke through an interpreter.

"I believe that what has happened is part of a normal cost or a normal price, that one has occasionally to pay while we lead our work," he said. "That is why we will be able to live through this incident as we have through others. And as the head of the ministry of foreign affairs of our country, I now declare that this will have no effect for our strategic partnership between the United States and Kazakhstan."

Clinton also had a bilateral meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who was reportedly described as vain and ineffective, among other things, in the U.S. diplomatic cables.

In remarks as she begin the session with the Italian leader, Clinton said the United States has "no better friend" and that no one has supported U.S. policies as consistently as Mr. Berlusconi for more than a decade.

A senior State Department official later said Mr. Berlusconi raised the leaks with Clinton and said they have created a problem for his government.

But he said the general response of Berlusconi and others depicted in unflattering terms, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was one of understanding, and even sympathy, for the Obama administration's current situation.

You May Like

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs