The United States has rejected talks with WikiLeaks over its planned release of confidential US documents, saying the whistleblower website is holding them in violation of US law.
The US State Department set out its position in a letter to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his attorney that was released to the media.
“We will not engage in a negotiation regarding the further release or dissemination of illegally obtained US government classified materials,” State Department legal adviser Harold Koh wrote.
“As you know, if any of the materials you intend to publish were provided by any government officials, or any intermediary without proper authorisation, they were provided in violation of US law and without regard for the grave consequences of this action.
“As long as WikiLeaks holds such material, the violation of the law is ongoing.”
WikiLeaks is expected to put online 3 million leaked cables covering US dealings and its confidential views of other countries.
Many fear it will embarrass the United States and its allies and reveal sensitive details about US relations with other countries.