Demanding an apology from Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull to US Presidential candidate Barack Obama, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s remarks this afternoon show nothing more than an awkward manoeuvre to deflect the intensifying heat over the leaked G20 conversation, Foreign Affairs Shadow Minister Helen Coonan said today, adding:
Referring to what former Prime Minister John Howard said of Senator Obama more than a year ago shows just how desperate Mr Rudd is becoming to fend off any criticism over his total mishandling of this diplomatic breach >> moreThere is little doubt that such an unfortunate event at least undermines Australia's reputation for confidential dealings with heads of state. Said one expert:
I suspect Rudd's office might tighten up some of the systems that leak, and maybe, just maybe, in the short term some heads of state [could be] apprehensive about being specific or disclosing too much on the phone with Rudd, but generally that is probably all that could happen. This will just be put down as one of those occasions where too much information is made available.Alexander Downer suggested, an inquiry is called for however failing this, a better explanation is warranted.