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WikiLeaks cables: Hillary Clinton meets Ban Ki-moon after spying revelations [View All]

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-10 05:50 PM
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WikiLeaks cables: Hillary Clinton meets Ban Ki-moon after spying revelations
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The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has sought to smooth strained relations with Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, in their first face-to-face meeting since it was publicly disclosed that US diplomats have been spying on him and other senior UN members.

Clinton stopped short of an apology but, in a statement issued today after their meeting yesterday at an international summit in Kazakhstan, Ban's office said Clinton had opened by clarifying what the UN referred to as "the complications caused by the recent massive leak of US diplomatic cables".

Ban does not like confrontation and his office has been careful in its responses not to alienate the US, but in private there is much unhappiness. That the US spies on other diplomats and staff at the UN did not come as a surprise to senior UN staff but the scale of the operation did.

The UN statement said Ban thanked Clinton "for clarifying the matter and for expressing her concern about the difficulties created".

The UN placed great importance on an expression that the two would work on the basis of mutual trust. The statement said: "The secretary general reiterated his commitment to work in a transparent manner, and they reaffirmed the need for the US and UN to continue to work together on many issues of pressing concern based on mutual trust and confidence."

The WikiLeaks releases have been the talk of UN headquarters all week and the issue was raised again by reporters at the daily briefing today.

There appeared to be a mood of resignation at the headquarters that eavesdropping, from all sides, was a fact of life.

"We're well used to espionage here," said one official. "Of course the secretary general takes equipment with him around the world which allows him to encrypt communications, but we are well aware none of this is 100% foolproof.

"We are constantly upgrading security systems, but I don't know if we are staying ahead of those who want to listen in."
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