France slams 'irresponsible' WikiLeaks

29th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

The French foreign ministry on Monday condemned the "irresponsible" staggered release of thousands of US diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks as "an attack on states' sovereignty."

"We firmly condemn the deliberate and irresponsible disclosure by the WikiLeaks site of US diplomatic correspondence," spokesman Bernard Valero said after the often secret and frequently embarrassing missives were leaked.

"The disclosure of State Department classified documents is an attack on states' sovereignty and the confidentiality of their correspondence," he told journalists, adding that he would not confirm the veracity of quotes attributed to French diplomats.

Paris is worried about the fallout from "such a breach of document confidentiality" which "could harm the resolution of matters essential for the security and stability of international relations and jeopardize people's security," Valero said.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's Elysee Palace said it would not be making any comment on the leaked documents, in which Sarkozy is portrayed by a US diplomat as "thin-skinned and authoritarian."

French government spokesman Francois Baroin said earlier that the documents' release was a "threat to democratic authority."

"We have to be very attentive and united at a state level to fight against what is a threat to democratic authority and sovereignty," Baroin told Europe 1 radio.

"The protection of states is something serious, it's about the protection of men, of women, of citizens," Baroin said, adding: "I've always thought that a transparent society is a totalitarian society."

Potentially embarrassing cables for France include an account of a senior advisor to Sarkozy branding Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez "crazy" and Iran a "fascist state".

© 2010 AFP

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