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Blinken says cooperation with allies 'not affected' by document leak

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said cooperation between the United States and its allies was not affected by the classified documents leak that detailed information about the war in Ukraine and U.S. intelligence operations. 

Blinken said during a press availability from Hanoi, Vietnam, on Saturday that the U.S. has engaged its allies and partners in the aftermath of the leaks to make clear its commitment to “safeguarding intelligence” and “our security partnerships.” 

“What I’ve heard so far at least is an appreciation for the steps that we’re taking, and it’s not affected our cooperation,” he said. “I just haven’t seen that. I haven’t heard that.”

Many pieces of information became public after about 100 classified documents were leaked on online platforms in recent months. The documents included information analyzing both sides of the war between Ukraine and Russia and that the U.S. was conducting spying on several countries, including some allies. 

A test of the relationship between the U.S. and its allies might come as Blinken travels to Japan on Sunday for three days of talks among foreign ministers from the Group of Seven, a group of the world’s most advanced economies and democracies. 

Blinken noted that the suspect was in custody for the leak and added that measures were being taken to ensure U.S. information is safe from further leaks. 

“But to date, based on the conversations I’ve had, I have not – not heard anything that would affect our cooperation with allies and partners,” he reiterated.

The documents also included assessments of internal arguing in countries like Israel, South Korea and the United Kingdom and Taiwan’s defense capabilities against a Chinese attack. 

The suspect, 21-year-old Jack Teixeira, has been charged with violating the Espionage Act and another law that prohibits the unauthorized removal of classified documents. Prosecutors believe he shared the documents in a group on Discord, a messaging app. 

Teixeira is a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard and could face a long prison sentence if convicted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: The Hill

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