WikiLeaks documents: five world leaders disparaged by US diplomats

World leaders back-slap like old friends at summit meetings. But behind the bonhomie they may be judging each other with the brutal candor of high school students sizing up rivals.

3. Germany's Angela Merkel

  • close
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a party convention in Karlsruhe, Germany November 15.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

German Chancellor Merkel may be a woman from a center-right party in charge of an important US ally, but any comparison with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ends there. Unlike Ms. Thatcher, who was decisive to a fault when in power, Chancellor Merkel is risk-averse, according to cables released by WikiLeaks.

For instance, at the end of 2006, former US Ambassador to Germany William Timken wrote in a confidential message to the State Department that Merkel “has not taken bold steps yet to improve the substantive content of the relationship.”

As an analysis by the German publication Der Spiegel notes, “that is not exactly high praise.”

Merkel gets off easy compared to German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, though. In a cable, current US envoy to Berlin Philip Murphy says that Westerwelle's thoughts “were short on substance.”

3 of 5

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK