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Cable Gate Day Two

China is ready to accept Korean unification and is distancing itself from North Korea which it describes as behaving like a “spoiled child”. Cables say Kim Jong-il is a “flabby old chap” losing his grip and drinking.

• Prince Andrew attacked a Serious Fraud Office anti-corruption investigation during a meeting with British businessmen in Kyrgyzstan and criticised a Guardian investigation – and the French – in what the US ambassador there described as “an astonishingly candid” performance verging on the rude. He is also reported to like big game hunting and falconry.

• An official from the Commonwealth secretariat claimed Prince Charles is not respected in the same way as the Queen and questioned whether the heir apparent should necessarily succeed his mother as the head of the Commonwealth.

• Hillary Clinton wanted a briefing on the mental health of Argentina’s President Cristina Kirchner and asked whether she was taking medication to calm her down.

Der Spiegel

• The German magazine focuses on the US administration’s search for countries willing to take its Guantánamo prisoners, if it closed the base down, and the German government’s reluctance to help, with foreign minister Wolfgang Schäuble reportedly very sceptical. The German government would not accept 17 Uighur prisoners, despite the support of the Uighur exiled community in Munich, for fear of upsetting the Chinese government.

There is an extensive network of informants in Berlin, informing the US about Angela Merkel’s coalition negotiations. Merkel is described as an enigma, and sceptical about the US.

• The US administration doubts the Turkish government’s dependability as an ally, describing it as having little understanding of the outside world and its foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s “neo-Ottoman visions” as exceptionally dangerous. It describes a Muslim fraternity within the governing party and an “iron ring of sycophantic but contemptuous advisers”.

Le Monde

• The French newspaper Le Monde reports US diplomats describing the former president of Haiti, René Préval, as “indispensable but difficult … a chameleon character” unwilling to accept advice.

• In 2005, US diplomats reported France as being a difficult ally in the fight against international terrorism, because its specialist investigating magistrates were insular, centred on Paris and operating in “another world”.

El País

• Spain’s El País focuses on repeated attempts by the US to curb court cases in Spain against American soldiers and politicians accused of involvement in Iraq war crimes or torture at Guantánamo. It highlights a series of cables relating to the possibility of Spain accepting former Guantánamo prisoners. Spain’s political situation and public opinion made this “almost impossible”, an official said.

 

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