United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner Thursday afternoon to apologize in relation to the WikiLeaks release of confidential diplomatic documents, including one in which the US Embassy in Buenos Aires is requested to gather information on the personality and mental health of the Argentine leader.
The exposure of 250.000 secret cables and documents by WikiLeak has turned into a major scandal that has sent shockwaves across the diplomatic world.
“They talked about the importance of our relation (with Argentina). Mrs Clinton regretted the release of confidential documents”, said Philip Cowley State Department spokesperson in a press conference. “During the conversation President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner underlined the importance and friendship of relations with the United States”.
On Wednesday evening William Burns Under Secretary for Political Affairs has already addressed the issue with Argentina’s Foreign Affairs minister Hector Timmerman and “the Argentine government was expecting a phone call from Hillary, as she did with other world leaders”, that had been named in the leaked cables.
Earlier in the afternoon the Press Attaché for the US Embassy in Buenos Aires, Shannon Farrell, said the diplomatic mission is not involved in espionage and defended the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whom she called an extraordinary leader.
We do not spy on others. We are not involved in espionage. We gather information, she said. Just because we're doing this in private does not mean we're spies, Ms. Farrell explained.
The US official told the press that their job is and always has been to generate contacts and brief their country.
Many people do not know what the job of a diplomat is. The problem here is that certain information should have been kept private, she explained.
Ms. Farrell admitted that the WikiLeak scandal has certainly made an impact on the population but she rejected rumours that it may get Mrs. Clinton removed from office.
I understand that many people feel uncomfortable with what's been written in those reports. We feel uncomfortable as well. But this happens in every country. The difference is that our reports were made public, she concluded.