Obama seeks to downplay impact of WikiLeaks revelations

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WASHINGTON. December 14. KAZINFORM In his latest effort to downplay the impact of the WikiLeaks revelations of sensitive U.S. diplomatic cables, President Barack Obama stressed on Monday that building partnerships of "mutual interest and mutual respect" remains a fundamental cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. Kazinform refers to Xinhua.

"As you know, my administration has pursued a new era of engagement around the world, an engagement that's grounded in mutual interest and mutual respect," Obama said at a holiday reception for the diplomatic corps at the U.S. State Department. "It depends on trust. It depends on candor. That's the essence of our diplomacy and the essence of our partnerships."

He said one reason he wanted to be at the reception "was to say how much the United States values the partnerships and friendships of the nations that are represented here."

"And our commitment to diplomacy -- to building partnerships of mutual interest and mutual respect, is going to remain a fundamental cornerstone of our foreign policy," the president told the foreign ambassadors. "It will not change because not only is it right for America but it's right for the world."

Of around 250,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables released since Nov. 28 by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, some shed light on spying activities and candid view of foreign leaders by U.S. diplomats, putting the U.S. government in an awkward position and angering Russia, Mexico, Turkey and some other countries.

Obama on Saturday called his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderon, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the cables. Kazinform cites Xinhua. See www.xinhuanet.com

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