WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday defended his disclosure of classified U.S. documents by singling out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an example of a world leader who believes the publications will aid global diplomacy.
"We can see the Israeli Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu coming out with a very interesting statement that leaders should speak in public like they do in private whenever they can," Assange told Time Magazine in an interview on Wednesday, days after his online whistleblower published thousands of secret diplomatic cables.
"He believes that the result of this publication, which makes the sentiments of many privately held beliefs public, are promising a pretty good [indecipherable] will lead to some kind of increase in the peace process in the Middle East and particularly in relation to Iran," Assange said.
"I just noticed today Iran has agreed to nuclear talks. Maybe that's coincidence or maybe it's coming out of this process, but it's certainly not being canceled by this process," he added.
Also Wednesday, a senior Turkish official blamed Israel for the WikiLeaks release. Addressing reporters, Huseyin Celik, deputy leader of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP party, hinted that Israel engineered the leak of hundreds of thousands of United States diplomatic cables as a plot to pressure the Turkish government.
One has to look at which countries are pleased with these," Celik was quoted as saying. "Israel is very pleased. Israel has been making statements for days, even before the release of these documents.
Documents were released and they immediately said, Israel will not suffer from this. How did they know that? Celik asked.
Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks spokesman, earlier Wednesday called the publications "perfectly legal", adding that people had a right to know what officials working on their behalf were doing. He also dismissed concern that the publication of classified U.S. communications would damage cooperation between countries.
If global stability is based on deception and lies, maybe it needs a bit of a shaking up," he told Reuters Television.
WikiLeaks has shaken the diplomatic world by publishing excerpts of more than 250,000 confidential cables in partnership with five Western newspapers, including The New York Times and The Guardian in Britain.
The disclosures have angered the United States by exposing the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy, including candid assessments of world leaders.
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