Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Britain complains to US over Israel bomb transit

Yahoo! News
Britain complains to US over Israel bomb transit

The British government will make a formal complaint to the United States over its use of a British airport for transiting bombs to Israel
, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said on Wednesday.

Beckett said it appeared the United States did not follow correct procedures when transporting arms to Israel -- engaged in a war with Hizbollah forces in Lebanon -- via Britain.

"I have already notified the United States that we are not happy about it," Beckett told reporters after a meeting of foreign ministers on the Lebanon crisis in Rome.

"We have already let the United States know that this is an issue that appears to be seriously at fault, and we will be making a formal protest if it appears that that is what has happened."

British media reported earlier on Wednesday that aircraft carrying "bunker-busting" bombs from the United States to Israel refueled at Prestwick airport in Scotland over the weekend.

Beckett indicated that her complaint was of a procedural nature. "It appears that in so far as there are procedures for handling that kind of hazardous cargo, irrespective of what they are, it does appear that they were not followed," she said.

Some opposition politicians have called on the government to suspend arms shipments to Israel because of what they see as its disproportionate use of force in the Lebanon conflict.

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