U.S. ambassador: Protection of diplomatic correspondence does not undermine foundations of freedom of speech (UPDATE)
The information about Hoagland's transferring to Pakistan added after the sixth paragraph
Kazakhstan, Astana, Jan. 5 / Trend A. Maratov /
Diplomatic correspondence exists in any country, is admitted as a private correspondence and is not relevant to the issue of freedom of speech, U.S. Ambassador Richard Hoagland said while commenting on the correspondence of U.S diplomats recently revealed by the notorious website WikiLeaks.
"The government of any country must have an opportunity to negotiate in a private, honest and protected format, without waiting for it to appear in press the next day," Hoagland said on Wednesday at a final press conference on completion of his mission.
The scandal involving WikiLeaks erupted after the documents of the U.S diplomatic service were published on its website. The documents marked "Top Secret" allegedly contained the details of the correspondence of President Obama's administration on crisis and conflicts. The documents also contained very uncomplimentary remarks towards the world leaders.
According to the website, a compilation of more than 250,000 U.S official documents represents the largest collection of confidential documents ever found in the public domain. The authenticity of the documents has been questioned by most world leaders.
Speaking about the need to protect the diplomatic correspondence, Ambassador Hoagland drew parallels with the private letters of each person.
"How would you feel if someone broke into your apartment and stole all your and your family's personal letters, then published them in the media?", The tmbassador asked, adding that he did "not think anyone would consider it freedom of speech."
There is a recent staff transfer in the U.S., including ambassadors due to the scandal involving WikiLeaks. In particular, one document states that Hoagland allegedly said that "most of the Kazakh leaders do not live according to their income. In many cases, they profit from a business registered for the wives and relatives, in other cases - they steal public funds.
Hoagland does not connect his appointment as deputy ambassador to Pakistan with the history of WikiLeaks.
"The policy of the U.S. government is not to confirm the reality of these telegrams. In some cases, there were false telegrams, which were presented as messages of Wikileaks. But they were fakes created by special services of these countries," the ambassador said.
He also added that at a joint press conference between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Kazakh Secretary of State Kanat Saudabayev, Saudabayev assured that the published telegrams will not have any impact on bilateral relations.
Regarding transferring to Pakistan, Hoagland noted that the post of Deputy Ambassador is formally one step lower than the post of Ambassador. But the responsibility of Deputy Ambassador in Pakistan is probably even more than that of ambassador to Kazakhstan.
"We have only three embassies worldwide with a position of a deputy ambassador in Baghdad, Kabul and Islamabad," he said, answering journalists' questions.