'US said NZ over-exaggerated in 2004 Israeli spy incident'

US diplomats criticized New Zealand's 2004 arrest of two Israeli citizens suspected of spying, saying the government tried to cozy up to Arab countries in order to increase exports to them, the Guardian reported on Tuesday citing a recently released WikiLeaks cable.
The arrest and conviction of the two Israelis caused a major rift between New Zealand and Israel, with allegations that the two men and others involved in the incident were Mossad agents, reported the Guardian.
The WikiLeaks cable written in 2004, after Wellington imposed diplomatic sanctions on Israel, said: "The GoNZ [government of New Zealand] has little to lose by such stringent action, with limited contact and trade with Israel, and possibly something to gain in the Arab world, as the GoNZ is establishing an embassy in Egypt and actively pursuing trade with Arab states."