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US ambassador talks WikiLeaks with govt

UNITED States Ambassador Carol Rodley met with Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith on Friday to discuss the massive leak of American diplomatic cables, including hundreds from the US embassy in Phnom Penh, to the website WikiLeaks.

Khieu Kanharith said in an email yesterday that the ambassador had pledged to cooperate closely with the government in the event that sensitive information is disclosed by WikiLeaks.

“The US Government won’t confirm nor deny the authenticity of any documents released by WikiLeaks but the US ambassador is ready to have a private meeting with any member of the [government] if there are any documents relating to Cambodia deemed to create confusion,” Khieu Kanharith said.

“For my part, I consider the opinion expressed by any American diplomat is not the official American administration’s stance.”

WikiLeaks claims to have more than 250,000 American foreign policy documents in its possession, including 777 diplomatic cables from the US embassy in Phnom Penh. The website has pledged to release the documents gradually over the next few months, and only a few hundred have been made public so far.

In a cable released last week, former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew is quoted discussing the close ties between the Kingdom and China.

“Within hours, everything that is discussed in ASEAN meetings is known in Beijing, given China’s close ties with Laos, Cambodia and Burma,” the cable states, quoting Lee.

The Singaporean embassy in Phnom Penh declined to comment on the cable but condemned the WikiLeaks disclosures.

“The selective release of documents, especially when taken out of context, will only serve to sow confusion and fail to provide a complete picture of the important issues that were being discussed amongst leaders in the strictest of confidentiality,” the embassy said in an emailed statement.

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