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Page last updated at 08:54 GMT, Monday, 29 November 2010

Diplomatic leaks 'more embarrassment than damage'


The whistle-blowing website, Wikileaks, has begun publishing hundreds of thousands of secret messages sent by US embassies. They include reports of Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, urging the US to attack Iran.

The White House has said that releasing the documents would put lives at risk.

The former British Ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, told Today presenter Evan Davis that he believed the release would not make any difference at all because many of the facts were broadly known.

"So far on policy I don't see any revelations," he said. "And what I do see is more embarrassment than damage although there is damage, and I'm slightly underwhelmed by the content so far. Although the fact and the size of the leak does raise very, very big issues about how you keep things confidential."

Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian newspaper which has published many of the revelations, said that newspapers has taken steps both to redact sources as well as to give "some kind of context" to the information.

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