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June 25, 2021

Clinton calls home 260 U.S envoys over WikiLeaks crisis

Meanwhile, new leaked documents show UK advised Libya on Lockerbie bomber release

WASHINGTON/LONDON – Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has summoned more than 260 US ambassadors and envoys from every corner of the globe for a week of brainstorming and re-evaluation in Washington, just as America’s sprawling diplomatic machine is facing crises on several fronts at once, not least thanks to the work of WikiLeaks, The Independent online reports. The unprecedented gathering at the State Department began yesterday and brought together America’s most senior diplomatic representatives from 180 countries. Most have been told to stay in Washington all week for a series of meetings and pep talks. Ms Clinton is set to address them tomorrow and will have face-to-face meetings with envoys from front-line countries where the stakes for America are highest. Mean­while, a UK Foreign Office official ex­plained to the Libyans how to apply for compassionate release for Megrahi after he was diagnosed with cancer, according to an October 2008 U.S. Embassy cable newly published by WikiLeaks. The British government believed Scotland would be inclined to grant the bomber compassionate release, the cable says. Megrahi, the only person convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270, was released in 2009. He is now living in Libya. Then-Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell wrote to Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Abdulati al-Obeidi in October 2008 to explain how to apply for compassionate release, a British official told the U.S. Embassy in London, the cable says.

The Foreign Office in London and the office of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond in Edinburgh did not respond immediately to CNN requests for comment. The British have consistently denied that commercial considerations – such as oil giant BP’s desire to drill in Libya – played a role in Megrahi’s release.

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