Britain warns WikiLeaks release could put 'lives at risk'

28th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain condemned Sunday the release of classified US documents by whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, echoing US concerns that it "may put lives at risk".

"We condemn any unauthorised release of this classified information, just as we condemn leaks of classified material in the UK," a Foreign Office statement said, as WikiLeaks prepared to publish classified US documents.

"They can damage national security, are not in the national interest and, as the US have said, may put lives at risk. We have a very strong relationship with the US government. That will continue."

The statement was issued shortly before a British newspaper, The Guardian, published the documents online on Sunday along with several other media outlets worldwide.

Earlier WikiLeaks said it was under cyber attack but stressed this would not stop the publication of the data, which the website's chief, Julian Assange, has said would address "every major issue in every country in the world".

In a statement Sunday, the US ambassador to Britain Louis Susman condemned the document release, echoing statements from Washington.

"Any unauthorized disclosure of classified information by WikiLeaks has the very real potential to harm innocent individuals as well as efforts to advance objectives we share with the United Kingdom and nations around the world," he said.

"I am confident that our uniquely productive relationship with the United Kingdom will remain close and strong, focused on promoting our shared objectives and values."

© 2010 AFP

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