KABUL, Afghanistan – A leaked diplomatic cable has jeopardized the U.S. ambassador’s relationships with key Afghan ministers at a time when ties between the two nations are strained over corruption at the highest levels of the government and stepped-up military operations, a top Afghan official said Saturday.

Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal, who is well-respected by the international community, vehemently denied calling President Hamid Karzai “an extremely weak man” as reported in a Feb. 26 cable written by Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, a longtime critic of Karzai who once commanded troops in Afghanistan.

The cable went on to quote Zakhilwal as saying that Karzai “did not listen to facts but was instead easily swayed by anyone who came to him to report even the most bizarre stories of plots against him.”

The report is “absolutely, categorically wrong and false,” Zakhilwal said at a news conference at the finance ministry.

Zakhilwal said he offered to resign, but Karzai asked him to stay, saying he didn’t believe Zakhilwal could have said such a thing.

He said the cable, part of a vast tranche of files released by the WikiLeaks website, has hurt Eikenberry’s relationship not only with him, but also with other key government ministers.

The rift sparked by the Wiki-Leaks release comes less than two weeks before President Obama is to address Americans about a review of U.S. strategy to defeat the Taliban and strengthen the Afghan government so U.S. troops can begin leaving next year.

Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, said the Americans were working in private to overcome any issues.

“We are determined not to allow the reckless actions of WikiLeaks to harm the strong and strategic relationships we have built over many years with many members of the government of Afghanistan,” she said in a statement.