- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 5, 2010

WIKILEAKS THREAT

Europe fears that the WikiLeaks scandal will undermine confidence in U.S. diplomatic security, as the unauthorized release of hundreds of thousands of secret documents foreshadows a cyberthreat facing NATO nations, a top Hungarian official said on a visit to Washington.

“It is so detrimental that it is the Lehman Brothers of American diplomacy,” Deputy Foreign Minister Zsolt Nemeth told Embassy Row, referring to the Wall Street firm that filed the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history in 2008.

Mr. Nemeth called the release of the documents a “serious crime” that affects the “security of the NATO alliance.”

“It was not an accident that the NATO summit discussed the new threats that must be considered,” he said of last month’s meeting of alliance leaders is Lisbon, Portugal. “If the United States gets into trouble, that concerns the whole world.”

**FILE** The Internet homepage of WikiLeaks is shown in this photo taken in New York on Dec. 1, 2010. (Associated Press)
**FILE** The Internet homepage of WikiLeaks is shown in this photo taken ... more >

Mr. Nemeth, on his first visit to Washington as deputy foreign minister, laid the groundwork last week for Hungarian relations with the incoming Republican-led House. In January, Hungary assumes the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union.

His meetings included talks with Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the incoming chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and with the co-chairmen of the House Hungarian Caucus, Democrat Dennis J. Kucinich and Republican Steven V. LaTourette, both from Ohio. He also met with Rep.-elect Andy Harris, Maryland Republican, whose parents fled communist Hungary after World War II.

Mr. Nemeth also announced that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will dedicate a human rights center devoted to the legacy of Tom Lantos, the Holocaust survivor who died in 2008 after serving 27 years as a Democratic House member from California. She is due to open the center at a summit of Eastern European nations in Budapest in May.

Before his visit to Washington last week, Mr. Nemeth stopped in New York, where he met with Susan E. Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and discussed Hungary’s campaign for one of the temporary seats on the 15-member U.N. Security Council.

DIPLOMATIC TRAFFIC

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Monday

Leszek Balcerowicz, who has served as Poland’s deputy prime minister and finance minister and as governor of the National Bank of Poland. He addresses a forum at the Polish Embassy.

Luis Estrada Straffon, former spokesman for Mexico’s Interior Ministry. He addresses a forum on Mexico-U.S. border security at George Washington University.

Martin Kocourek, minister of industry and trade, and deputy ministers Milan Hovorka and Tomas Huner of the Czech Republic. They meet with U.S. officials to promote U.S.-Czech trade.

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