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پیر, نومبر 29, 2010

Will Wikileaks release damage London-Washington ties?

The release by the Wikileaks website of extracts from US diplomatic messages will in no way affect the British-U.S. relations, an official spokesman for the British Foreign Office said on Sunday. 
 “We condemn any unauthorized release of classified information…It can damage national security…We have a very strong relationship with the US government. That will continue”, the statement reads.
However, some experts think that the WikiLeaks publication will not go unnoticed for the relations between the two countries.
According to reports in British media, WikiLeaks has released the telegrams sent by employees at the US Embassy in London to Washington. One of the telegrams says that the coalition government led by David Cameron is ‘unstable and won`t last for long’. Other extracts released by the website contain criticism of the British policy in Afghanistan.
Evidently, the release of these documents was hardly a pleasant surprise for Mr. Cameron and the British Ministry of Defense. The relations with the U.S. remain one of the priorities of the British foreign policy. The nation’s British Foreign Secretary William Hague comments…
But Mr. Hague also stressed that London will no longer shape its foreign policy in accordance with Washington’s preferences. He believes the relations with the U.S. should be ‘solid, but not slavish’. In this context The Daily Telegraph noted that ‘to be friends does not mean to be lapdogs’. By the way, this expression can often be heard from ordinary Britons when they discuss London’s relations with Washington.
However, Mr. Cameron`s intention yet has not been put into practice. Just a few weeks ago London faced harsh criticism from Washington over its defence budget cuts. But Mr. Cameron`s Cabinet silently accepted the criticism. London still backs the U.S. on Afghanistan and Iran. So, I`d rather not make hasty conclusions about ‘independent’ British foreign policy. The only thing is evident: after the WikiLeaks publication, the British politicians and diplomats will make more cautious remarks while communicating with their colleagues in the United States.
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