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Monday, December 6, 2010

Leaks damaged US credibility: Turki

MANAMA: Former Saudi ambassador to Washington Prince Turki Al-Faisal Sunday felt that America's credibility and honesty have been seriously compromised following the recent publication of hundreds of confidential diplomatic cables.

Speaking at the concluding session of the 7th International Institute for Strategic Studies Regional Security Summit at the Ritz-Carlton, Prince Turki said officials will henceforth find it extremely difficult to engage in frank discussions with American diplomats.

“When you are speaking to a journalist you know for sure that it is for publication. However, when government officials are speaking to diplomats they speak in the belief that those conversations will remain confidential," said the prince who now heads the Riyadh-based King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. "This is a serious breach of trust and security."

He added that WikiLeaks poses a serious danger to all governments and called for meting out tough punishment for those responsible for the breach. “If diplomats can't exchange views then we are all in trouble ... Therefore, whoever is responsible for WikiLeaks must be rigorously punished," he said.

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