Paris summons Israeli envoy over Mabhouh

UK, Ireland envoys have “nothing to add” in talks at respective foreign offices.

By BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 18, 2010 15:30
2 minute read.
Gaza terrorists lay wreath next to a portrait of H

al-Mabhouh portriat 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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The French government has summoned an Israeli diplomat to seek explanations for the use of a fake French passport by a suspect in the slaying of  Hamas terror chief Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.

The French Foreign Ministry said in a statement that France "expressed its deep concern about the malicious and fraudulent use of these French administrative documents."

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The statement says the charge d'affaires for the Israeli Embassy in Paris was summoned Thursday. It gives no details of the discussions.

Earlier Thursday, Britain questioned Israel's role in Mabhouh's slaying after asking Jerusalem’s ambassador to the UK to attend a crisis meeting at the Foreign Office.

Britain has said it will investigate how some suspects in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh came to have British passports — and how they might have been forged.

Names on some of the passports matched people living in Israel, raising possible links to the Mossad.

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Dubai police Monday released names and photos of 11 suspects — 10 men and one woman — who entered the country on fraudulent European passports.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that in Thursday's meeting, Peter Ricketts, a top diplomat, made clear to ambassador Ron Prosor that Britain was determined to investigate the issue. But British diplomats bent over backwards to insist that the ambassador was not "summoned," but rather "invited," to discuss the issue.

Ricketts "made clear how seriously we take any suggestion of fraudulent use of British passports" and "explained the concern we have for British passport holders in Israel," Miliband said.

"He made clear that we wanted to give Israel every opportunity to share with us what it knows about this incident, and we hope and expect that they will cooperate fully with the investigation," he said, adding he would raise the issue with Israel's foreign minister when they meet in Brussels in the next few days.

Prosor told journalists after the 20-minute meeting that he was not able to add additional information to Britain's request.

Meanwhile, Israel's ambassador to Ireland was also summoned to Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs amid suspicions that Mossad agents used three forged Irish passports.

Ambassador Zion Evrony said after the hour-long meeting he had nothing useful to tell Ireland because he knew nothing confidential about the Dubai assassination.

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