Thursday, July 27, 2006

US rejects weapon flight concerns


The White House has dismissed UK concerns about the use of Prestwick Airport, in Scotland, by US planes carrying bombs to Israel.
"Apparently, the British foreign minister thinks the paperwork was not in order," said spokesman Tony Snow.

"The Department of Defense does," he added. "We'll get it straightened out."

UK Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett protested to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, claiming procedures were ignored.

Mrs Beckett said: "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."

Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that two chartered Airbus A310 planes with a cargo of laser-guided "smart bombs" stopped at Prestwick, 30 miles south of Glasgow in western Scotland.

The Israelis have requested the munitions to attack bunkers being used by Hezbollah militants in Lebanon.


Opposition parties reacted angrily, with Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond claiming the UK government should decide whether to "be an aircraft carrier" for the US.

Mr Salmond said that "with an escalating Middle East conflict", it was ill-advised to send bombs "to arm one side in that conflict to the teeth".

No comments: