WikiLeaks: Obama Turkish Prime Minister Over Leaked Cables

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ISTANBUL — President Barack Obama called Turkey’s prime minister to mend ties following the release on the WikiLeaks website of U.S. diplomatic cables containing negative comment about the Turkish leadership, the government said Sunday.

Obama called Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday and told him that some of the comment in the cables does not reflect the view of the current U.S. government, and that the U.S.-Turkish alliance is vital, Erdogan’s office said in a statement on its website.

Earlier this month, Erdogan reacted furiously to claims relayed in a 2004 diplomatic memo that he has money in Swiss bank accounts. He said U.S. diplomats should be punished for what he described as slander.

Another U.S. diplomatic cable, dated February 2009, claimed that Erdogan’s friends were benefiting from Turkey’s business deals with Iran.

In the conversation, Erdogan said the incident will not harm diplomatic relations and that he had appreciated U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s expression of regret on the matter, the office said.

“It is important that the agenda between us not be allowed to be changed artificially,” Erdogan’s office cited him as telling Obama. “The fact that information based on gossip has been reflected in official documents, as well as the wording and allegations, is of course disturbing. However we are ready to do together whatever is needed during this process.”

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