Skip to main content

Clinton, Zardari speak on WikiLeaks over phone

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Clinton, Zardari speak over the phone
  • They agreed that the WikiLeaks publications were unauthorized
  • Cables show concern over highly-enriched uranium

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari have agreed not to let recent WikiLeaks revelations "cast a shadow on the strategic partnership" between their countries, a spokesman for the president said.

The two officials spoke over the telephone about bilateral matters with reference to the recent leaks of U.S. diplomatic cables, the spokesman said. WikiLeaks is a website known for leaking official secrets.

They agreed that the WikiLeaks publications were not only unauthorized, but were also out of context and based on raw information that failed to reflect the correct nature of the purported official correspondence.

The spokesman said the president regards the leaks as a thing of the past and he looks forward to the future and the promise it holds.

U.S. diplomatic cables cited by The New York Times reveal concerns over Pakistan's uranium stockpile, its role in the struggle against Islamic militants and its economic crisis.

CNN cannot independently verify the content of all the cables from the website.

WikiLeaks expose Pakistan concerns
Pakistan responds to WikiLeaks release
WikiLeaks ramifications
RELATED TOPICS

Cables revealed by The Times show that the U.S. ambassador in Islamabad was concerned over a supply of highly enriched uranium at an aging research reactor, allegedly enough to build several "dirty bombs."

The Times cites a cable dated May 27, 2009, in which Ambassador Anne Patterson said the Pakistani government was dragging its feet on an agreement that would allow the United States to remove the material.

She said the Pakistani government was concerned that the "sensational' international and local media coverage of Pakistan's nuclear weapons made it impossible to proceed at this time."

One document cited says Zardari had told U.S. Vice President Joe Biden that the Pakistani military might "take me out."

Other governments are also preoccupied by Pakistan, including Saudi Arabia, according to a CNN survey of the leaked cables.

In a cable sent to Washington in February, Ambassador James Smith writes: "King Abdullah firmly believes that Asif Zardari is the primary obstacle to the government's ability to move unequivocally to end terrorist safe havens there ('when the head is rotten, it affects the whole body')."

A cable from June 2009 said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told U.S. diplomats that Pakistan was his "private nightmare," suggesting that the world might wake up one morning "with everything changed" after a potential Islamic extremist takeover.