9 December 2010 Last updated at 09:19
At a glance: Wikileaks cables
Read key revelations and quotes from Wikileaks' release of thousands of US embassy cables.
The Wikileaks website has been subject to cyber attacks and has been forced to change domain names and use mirror sites. For consistency's sake, in some cases we have linked to the organisation's partner newspapers where the cables have also been published.
The Wikileaks cables
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Concern among the US and other foreign officials over the fitness of President Karzai to govern.
"[Karzai is] a paranoid and weak individual unfamiliar with the basics of nation-building."
Then-PM Kevin Rudd described as "mistake-prone control freak" who makes "snap announcements without consulting other countries or within the Australian government".
"His performance so far demonstrates that he does not have the staff or the experience to do the job properly."
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a confidential cable saying allies in Nato had agreed to expand the contingency plan to defend Poland, to include the Baltic states.
"The expansion was formally submitted to Allies for decision under a silence procedure."
The US urged China to stop a shipment of missile components from North Korea to Iran in 2007, and also expressed concern over Chinese computer hacking.
"The best way to prevent these shipments in the future is for Chinese authorities to take action."
China - Africa
The US assistant secretary of state for African affairs describes China as "aggressive and pernicious", and says Beijing wants to secure African votes in the UN. Another cable alleges that the Chinese paid bribes to win contracts in Kenya.
"China is a very aggressive and pernicious economic competitor with no morals. China is not in Africa for altruistic reasons."
In 2004, a German citizen was snatched in Macedonia and allegedly taken to a secret prison by the CIA. In a separate cable Chancellor Angela Merkel is labelled "Risk averse and rarely creative".
"Our intention was not to
threaten ... but rather to urge that the German Government weigh carefully implications for relations with the US."
A number of Arab leaders called on the US to attack Iran to stop its suspected nuclear weapons programme. President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is also referred to as "Hitler" by UAE defence minister.
"[King Hamad of Bahrain] argued
forcefully for taking action to terminate their nuclear program, by whatever means necessary."
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is described as "feckless and vain" and had profited from a "nefarious connection" with Russian PM Vladimir Putin.
"Berlusconi admires Putin's macho, decisive, and authoritarian governing style, which the Italian PM believes matches his own."
China frustrated with North Korea and coming round to the view the Korean peninsula should be reunified under Seoul's control in the long term. North Korea's Kim Jong-il described by US diplomats as a "flabby old chap".
"We need to solve this problem. It is very troublesome," China's ambassador to Kazakhstan told the Americans.
Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi relies heavily on his long-time Ukrainian nurse, described as a "voluptuous blonde".
"Gadaffi has been described as both mercurial and eccentric, and our recent first-hand experiences
with him demonstrated the truth of both characterisations."
Libya - UK
Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi made "thuggish" threats to halt all trade deals if Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi died in jail.
"The Libyans have told HMG flat out that there will be "enormous repercussions" for the UK-Libya bilateral relationship if Megrahi's early release is not handled properly."
The Mexican army was failing in its fight against drugs cartels.
"Mexican security institutions are often locked in competition... information is closely guarded, and joint operations are all but unheard of."
Embassy put together "rap sheet" of claims against Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega including links with the drugs trade.
"Escobar's drug trafficking operation received Ortega's approval to land and load airplanes in Nicaragua as they sought to ship cocaine to the United States. In return, Ortega and the FSLN received large cash payments from Escobar."
US and British diplomats feared that Pakistan's nuclear material could fall into terrorists' hands and that the US had been trying to remove highly enriched uranium from a research facility since 2007.
"The UK has deep concerns about the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons."
The country is described as being a corrupt, autocratic kleptocracy centred on the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. A separate cable describes President Medvedev as "Robin" to Putin's "Batman".
"[Spanish prosecutor Jose 'Pepe' Grinda Gonzalez] stated that he considers Belarus, Chechnya and Russia to be virtual 'mafia states'."
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warns that donors in Saudi Arabia are the "most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide".
"More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT, and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during Hajj and Ramadan."
Saudi Arabia - Hezbollah
Saudi Arabia proposed an Arab-led military force to destroy Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2008.
"Saud concluded by underscoring that a UN/Arab peace-keeping force coupled with US air and naval support would "keep out Hezbollah forever" in Lebanon."
Embassy claims Rolls-Royce lost out on a key contract with the Spanish military following lobbying of Spain's Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero by Washington.
"Moncloa - the office of the President - overturned the decision and it was announced that GE had won the bid. The Ambassador is convinced that Zapatero personally intervened in the case in favour of GE."
President Mahinda Rajapaksa was responsible for alleged war crimes, according to a January 2010 cable sent by the US ambassador.
"There are no examples we know of a regime undertaking investigations of its own troops or senior officials for war crimes while in power."
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown was perceived to be "finished" by US diplomats in summer 2008, while the UK also kept quiet about a loophole allowing the US to continue storing cluster bombs on its territory despite an international ban.
"A terrible by-election defeat in Scotland has left the Labour Party reeling and fuelled fears among MPs that Brown's premiership may now be beyond repair."
UK - Royal Family
The Duke of York criticised the Serious Fraud Office probe of an arms deal between BAE and Saudi Arabia and spoke in a rude manner during an official engagement.
"[Prince Andrew] railed at British anti-corruption investigators, who had had the 'idiocy' of almost scuttling the Al-Yamama deal with Saudi Arabia."
Diplomats were instructed under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's name to collect DNA samples, fingerprints and credit card details of key UN officials.
"Reporting officers should include as much of the following information as possible... organizational titles; names, position titles and other information on business cards; numbers of telephones, cell phones, pagers and faxes; compendia of contact information."
US State Department asks US missions for list of key facilities around the world it describes as vital to its national security and provides 2008 list.
"BAE Systems (Operations) Ltd., Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom: Critical to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter..."
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
BBC News - At a glance: Wikileaks cables