Britain to amend foreign diplomats' detention law: FM

10:30, November 04, 2010      

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The British government is working with the parliament to amend a law that allows authorities to arrest visiting foreign officials under warrant, visiting British Foreign Minister William Hague said Wednesday.

"We will soon put a proposal to change the law in the parliament," Hague said in a joint press conference with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad here.

The law has sparked tension with Israel, as several senior Israeli officials avoid visiting the United Kingdom for fears of being arrested for involvement in the Gaza war.

Last December, Tzipi Livni, the then Israeli foreign minister, canceled her visit to London after pro-Palestinian groups grabbed a warrant from the British judiciary for her role in the three- week Gaza offensive in late 2008.

On the eve of Hague's visit, Israel pressed him by vowing to suspend security strategic talks with Britain until the British government amends the law.

In the meantime, Hague urged Israel to stop expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank in order to resume the direct talks with the Palestinians.

"We are looking to the future and the two-state solution which would make the Israelis live in security and prosperity alongside a sovereign, secure and contiguous Palestinian state," Hague said.

Source: Xinhua


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