US Offers Assurances over WikiLeaks, Gov’t Says

US Ambassador Carol Rodley said Friday that she would meet with Cambodian officials in the event that leaked US State Department cables create “confusion,” according to government spokesman Khieu Kanharith.

Since last month, US diplomats the world over have sought to manage the fallout from the website WikiLeaks’ progressive disclosure of a quarter million diplomatic communications, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton personally discussing the matter with more than two dozen world leaders, according to The New York Times.

Cambodia features only briefly in just three of the nearly 850 cables that WikiLeaks had released as of yesterday.

Revelations about other countries have concerned matters such as war crimes in Sri Lanka, alleged state affiliations to organized crime in Russia and Iran’s alleged acquisition of North Korean missile technology, as well as candid and sometimes colorful descriptions of corruption and the competence of senior officials.

The US Embassy declined to comment yesterday. However, Mr Kanharith said in remarks given to at least two media outlets that Ms Rodley had offered to engage in private meetings with “any member” of the Cambodian government if unspecified difficulties arose as a result of the leaks.

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

None of the 1,010 cables flagged as concerning Cambodia, including the 777 originating from the US Embassy, had been released as of yesterday. According to the State Department’s labeling system, they concern a very broad array of subjects, including trade promotion, human rights, criminal activity, terrorism prevention, nuclear non-proliferation, military cooperation, mineral resources and political affairs.

In a confidential August 2008 cable released Thursday, Thomas Riley, the then-US Ambassador in Morocco, described the Moroccan armed forces as “experienced” peacekeepers having worked in Cambodia, among other countries.

“The US government has arrested the American officer involved in the leaked cables and is now preparing a case to prosecute the soldier. It is a crime,” Ms Rodley was quoted as saying Friday by the official news agency Agence Kampuchea Presse.

Private First Class Bradley Manning was arrested in May by US Army investigators and is charged with the disclosure of military records and the State Department cables.

 

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