Wikileaks: India declines comment, says candid dialogue on with US

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NEW DELHI - India’s external affairs ministry has refused to comment on the leak of secret US diplomatic cables, but asserted that it continues to have a “candid” dialogue with the United States on various issues.

“We would prefer not to comment on the issue of Wikileaks which purportedly are an account of privileged internal US government assessments and correspondence,” said external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash.

The US has already reached out to India following WikiLeaks’ embarrassing disclosures that was condemned by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as the American envoy in India assured New Delhi that it welcomes its “greater global leadership” role in the world.

“We have a multi-faceted and forward looking strategic partnership with the United States and there is a regular, open and candid dialogue between the two countries, on a number of matters of mutual interest,” asserted Prakash.

Clinton Monday branded the leaks as an “attack on the international community”, saying the illegal disclosure of secret information “puts people’s lives in danger, threatens our national security and undermines our efforts to work with other countries to solve shared problems”.

“This disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy; it is an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conventions and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity,” she said.

In New Delhi, US Ambassador Timothy Roemer said: “The United States welcomes a greater global leadership role for India and values its perspectives on how to meet common challenges, including countering terrorism, securing our maritime domains, and working together to promote democratic, political and economic development around the world.”

He said US President Barack Obama during his recent visit to India had described relations with India as one of the “defining partnership of the 21st century”.

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