EU "extremely concerned" over passport use in Hamas killing
Mon, Feb 22, 2010

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - The European Union is "extremely concerned" at the use of European passports in the killing of a Hamas commander in Dubai, the Spanish EU presidency said Monday.

"We are extremely concerned that European passports... can be used in a different manner for a different purpose," Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told reporters as he arrived for a meeting with his EU counterparts in Brussels.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was due to meet Moratinos and several fellow European foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, seeking to reassure them over the use of British, Irish, French and German passports in the assassination of Mahmud al-Mabhuh in January.

"We are going to discuss it and I hope we will issue a statement expressing our concern about this situation," said Moratinos ahead of the talks.

Deputy Israel Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said on Saturday that he foresaw no crisis in Israel's relations with Europe over the use of foreign passports in the murder as it had nothing to do with it.

But Britain, Ireland, France and Germany have called in Israeli envoys for talks at their foreign ministries after passports from those countries were implicated in the killing.

Amid mounting diplomatic tension, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who will also meet Lieberman, has urged the Israelis to cooperate "fully" in investigating the incident. --AFP




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