Thursday, July 27, 2006

Britain to protest US use of airport to send missiles to Israel


London: British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett is planning to make a formal complaint to the United States over the alleged use of a Scottish airport as a staging post for the transport of missiles to Israel.

Beckett said she had raised the issue with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, telling British media the government was "not happy" about reports two chartered Airbus A310 cargo planes that were filled with GBU28 laser-guided bombs landed at Glasgow's Prestwick airport over the weekend for refuelling and for the crew to rest on the way to Israel.

Responding to a question asking whether it was acceptable for a British airport to be used as a staging post for the transport of weapons, Beckett told Channel 4 News: "No I am not happy about it.

"Not least because it appears that in so far as there are procedures for handling of that kind of cargo -- hazardous cargoes irrespective of what they are -- it does appear that they were not followed.

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

"We are still looking into the facts but I have already notified the United States that we are not happy about it."

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