Washington: US President Barack Obama called Turkey's prime minister and Mexico's president on Saturday to discuss the "deplorable action" by WikiLeaks, and said the cable releases should not harm bilateral ties.
"The President expressed his regrets for the deplorable action by WikiLeaks and the two leaders agreed that it will not influence or disrupt the close cooperation between the United States and Turkey," the White House said, referring to Obama's call with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Obama also telephoned his Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderon, and the pair "agreed (WikiLeaks') irresponsible acts should not distract our two countries from our important cooperation," according to a readout of the call.
The comments were Obama's most forceful publicised by the White House against the website, which has come in for intense criticism -- and support -- for its disclosure of secret US diplomatic cables among a treasure trove of some 250,000 documents believed to have been supplied by a US Army analyst.
Turkey in particular has been in the spotlight in the wake of the documents dump, which included 7,918 cables from the US embassy in Ankara, the post with the most cables in the leaked stash.
Obama's call to Erdogan could be seen as an effort to soothe ruffled feathers in Turkey -- a key regional US ally -- where officials have railed against some of the information divulged by the documents.
Earlier this month, Erdogan furiously denied he had secret accounts in Swiss banks and was involved in fraud, as claimed by US diplomats in cables revealed by WikiLeaks.
"I do not have one penny in Swiss banks.... If this is proven, I will not stay in my post," Erdogan said in an angry speech in Ankara.
First Published: Sunday, December 12, 2010, 10:11