Lieberman regrets UK decision

FM, Israeli envoy "disappointed" with official's removal from Britain.

March 23, 2010 18:44
1 minute read.
Lieberman on the way to a cabinet meeting on Thurs

Lieberman worried 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )


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Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday said that he regrets Britain's decision to expel a worker at the Israeli embassy in London and stressed the importance of Israeli-British ties.

"Our relationship with Britain is extremely important, we cooperate on various sensitive issues, and we regret the British decision," Liberman said.

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British Foreign Secretary David Miliband announced the decision on Tuesday at parliament, explaining that the Israeli diplomat, who has not been named, was removed from London following an investigation into the use of 12 fake UK passports in a suspected Mossad operation to kill a Hamas commander in Dubai.

A British investigation found "compelling reasons to believe that Israel was responsible" for the forged passports used by those who killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Miliband said.

Lieberman, however, stressed that "we received no proof of Israeli involvement in the assassination."

Israel's ambassador to Britain, Ron Prosor, said Israel was "disappointed by the decision of the British government" to expel an Israeli embassy worker from the country, but affirmed his commitment to a relationship "of mutual importance."

Former Israeli ambassador to the UK Zvi Hefetz called the British move "harsh, maybe too harsh."

In an interview with Army Radio, Hefetz said that "There is a tradition of good relations between the countries, and I think Britain could have expressed their deep concern and unhappiness in other ways."

Hefetz said that he would opt for "lowering the flames and resolving the problems quietly behind the scenes."

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