An Emirati newspaper expressed fear that US Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, may have leaked classified data on some Arab countries and their armaments, reported Emirates News Agency.
The agency quoted Al-Ittihad newspaper as saying that a PC containing highly classified data on certain Arab countries disappeared from the US State Department.
"Israel always seeks to get such information. Recently, one of its spies, Jonathan Bollard, was sentenced to jail," the paper said.
Indyk, an Australian born Jew, managed to achieve a glittering career only seven years after his arrival to the US for the first time in 1993, said the paper. "The Ambassador who was temporarily relieved, will be re-instated sooner or later," added Al-Ittihad.
The paper called on Arab countries to ponder the damages they might have been exposed to.
"Arab countries should adhere to their right of rejecting any US diplomat who is not trustworthy, especially if that diplomat is a Jew," it concluded.
Meanwhile, Israel's Acting Foreign Minister Shlomo Ben Ami said Sunday he hoped Indyk would still play a role in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks despite his suspension for alleged security lapses, reported AFP.
"I'm not sure this matter will prevent Ambassador Indyk from continuing to take part in the negotiations," Ben Ami told army radio.
"Indyk is an outstanding Middle East expert whom I would compare to a data bank such is his deep knowledge of the region," he added.
The United States decided Thursday to suspend Indyk's security clearance, effectively removing him from his post pending an investigation into alleged security breaches that came to light last month.
Indyk is in Washington where he is cooperating fully with the investigation being conducted by the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security and the FBI, a State Department official was quoted as saying.
Ben Ami also said he considered that the US security procedures were "very strict and I'm not sure they are as strict here." - (Several Sources)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)