In Focus | WikiLeaks

Deal firmly with source of WikiLeaks cables: Turki

US credibility at stake after leaked embassy cables, says senior Saudi royal

  • Reuters
  • Published: 00:01 December 7, 2010
  • Gulf News

Prince Turki Al Faisal
  • Image Credit: AP
  • Prince Turki Al Faisal discusses the changing nature of security issues in the Middle East in Manama on Sunday. He said the WikiLeaks furore underscored that cyber security was an important international concern.
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Manama: A senior Saudi royal has demanded that the source of US embassy cables published by WikiLeaks be "vigorously punished" and suggested the credibility of America's diplomats had been hurt by the disclosures.

"If diplomats and leaders can't exchange their views freely on the matters that affect them, then we are all in trouble," Prince Turki Al Faisal told the Gulf security conference on Sunday.

One notable leak cited Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz as urging the United States to attack Iran's nuclear installations. He was reported to have advised Washington to "cut off the head of the snake" while there was still time.

It was one of several disclosures confirming the depth of suspicion of Iran among Arab leaders.

Prince Turki, a former ambassador to the UK and US and former head of the kingdom's intelligence service, said the WikiLeaks furore underscored that cyber security was an important international concern.

"So it is incumbent not just on the world community but on the US, where these leaks came from, to not just be extra vigilant but to try to restore the credibility and the leg-itimacy of their engagement with the rest of us, and ensure that there are no more leaks to be faced in the future."

"Whoever is responsible must be vigorously punished," said Prince Turki.

On December 1, a WikiLeaks spokesman said the website's staff did not know if a former US Army intelligence analyst detained by military authorities was the source of the cables.

Bradley Manning, 23, is being held at a Marine base near Washington in connection with the disclosure of US secrets. US officials have declined to say if the cables he is accused of mishandling are the same ones that WikiLeaks made public last week.

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