Monday, November 29, 2010
The Germany Dispatches: Internal Source Kept US Informed of Merkel Coalition Negotiations
The 250,000 US State Department documents made public by WikiLeaks reveal that the US has an extensive network of informants in Berlin and was kept informed of coalition negotiations as Chancellor Merkel was forming her current government. US officials, the cables show, are skeptical of several top German politicians.
The more than 250,000 secret documents from the US State Department show just how critical the American diplomats were of the new German government. In particular, the new Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), is cast in a negative light. The secret reports describe him as incompetent, vain and critical of America. The US diplomats report that they face a challenge in dealing with a politician who is considered an "enigma," who has little foreign policy experience and who "remains skeptical about the US." An embassy cable from Berlin from Sept. 22, 2009 describes Westerwelle as having an "exuberant personality." That is why he finds it difficult to take a backseat when it comes to "any matters of dispute with Chancellor Angela Merkel," the cable says.
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