Foreign Ministry Threatens: Arrest Warrants Will Cause Diplomatic Crisis

After a second arrest warrant against an Israeli official who wished to enter Britain, the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced this morning that the arrest warrant against Livni will cause a diplomatic crisis. "We condemn this absurd situation"
By: Eitan Fried
Dec. 15, 2009 - PRLog -- Are Israel and Britain headed towards a diplomatic crisis? The arrest warrant which a British courthouse issued against opposition leader Tzippi Livni has caused a storm of protest in Israel. The Foreign Minister formally announced this morning that the ministry condemns the decision of the British courthouse, and called it an 'absurd situation'. The statement also includes a vague warning that if Britain does not cease to issue arrest warrants against Israeli officials, Britain will have no part in the peace negotiations in the Middle-East.

"We condemn the cynical legal move of the British courthouse against opposition leader Tzippi Livni, brought on by extremists", read the statement. The arrest warrant had been confirmed by the 'Guardian' earlier in the day. Lawyers representing Palestinian factors in Britain requested that an arrest warrant be issued against Livni due to her involvement in the IDF's military operation in Gaza last year.

"The State of Israel wishes to remind the British government that we are united in our quest to fight global terror. We call upon the British government to fulfill its promises and prevent anti-Israel factors from abusing the British judicial system in order to harm Israeli citizens", read the statement further.

There was also a vague warning in the statement: "The lack of immediate and firm action on the part of the British government will harm the relations between the countries. If Israeli leaders are unable to visit Britain in a respectable fashion, it will clearly be an obstacle in Britain's quest to take an active part in the peace process of the Middle-East".
Livni is the second Israeli official to be prevented from landing in Britain due to an arrest warrant. Defense Minister Ehud Barak had a similar problem during his last trip to London.

In a response to the Israeli statement, Britain released a statement of its own, saying: "Britain is determined to do everything in its power to advance the peace process in the Middle East and wishes to be a strategic partner to the State of Israel. In order to achieve that, Israeli leaders must of course have the ability to visit Britain".

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Tags:Arrest Warrant, Britain, Israel, Tzipi Livni
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