(CNSNews.com) – Reaching out to foreign governments in the wake of the massive leak of confidential State Department cables, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says one foreign minister told her, “Don’t worry about it – you should see what we say about you.”
In the coming days,
Among them are Afghan President Hamid Karzai (described in one of the leaked U.S. cables as “driven by paranoia”), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (“can be tenacious but is risk averse and rarely creative”), Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (“plays Robin to [Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin’s Batman”), and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (“feckless, vain and ineffective as a modern European leader” with a “penchant for partying hard.”)
Karzai, Merkel, Medvedev and Berlusconi are among 28 heads of state, ten heads of government and 15 or so foreign ministers due to attend a summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Kazakhstan.
Also present will be U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, whose “management and decision-making style” was among a long list of priority issues identified by
Then there is the host government itself. Leaked description by U.S. diplomats of the lifestyles of Kazakhstan’s leaders include a report that Elton John was flown in at the cost of one million dollars for a private birthday party for President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s son-in-law; and a note that the defense minister “appears to enjoy loosening up in the tried and true ‘homo sovieticus’ style – i.e., drinking oneself into a stupor.”
After visits to two other Central Asian Republics, Kyrgzstan and Uzbekistan, she travels to Bahrain, where an annual strategic forum starting Friday will bring her into contact with another set of leaders.
They include ministers or senior officials from
Also on the list of attendees released by the IISS is Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. (Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a press conference on Monday the cables were not “leaked” but deliberately released by the
Other disclosures arising from the leaked cables that could cause Clinton discomfort in Bahrain include the belief of U.S. diplomats that donors in Saudi Arabia continue to be chief funders of al-Qaeda, and the revelation that U.S. officials had since 2007 been trying, without success, to remove enriched uranium from a Pakistani research reactor, concerned that it could be diverted for weapons use.
The government of
Foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit confirmed that
Although many of the first batch of leaked cables related to countries in the
One exception was
“This is not good for global stability,”
The government of
A Saudi foreign ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency that the kingdom had no role in producing the documents, was not aware of their authenticity and could not comment, adding that “the kingdom’s policies and positions have always been clear.”
“I do believe that people of good faith recognize that diplomats’ internal reports do not represent a government’s official foreign policy,” the articles said.
Speaking to reporters in
She expressed confidence that partnerships and relationships built by the Obama administration over the past 22 months would “withstand this challenge.”
Clinton said during her forthcoming trip she planned to “continue the conversations that I have started with some in person and over the phone over the last days, and I will seek out others because I want personally to impress upon them the importance that I place on the kind of open, productive discussions that we have had to date and my intention to continue working closely with them.”
“So I think that this is well understood in the diplomatic community as part of the give-and-take,” she said. “And I would hope that we will be able to move beyond this and back to the business of working together on behalf of our common goals.”