Tags: UK | Israel | warrant | row

UK's Brown Works to Diffuse Israel Warrant Row

Wednesday, 16 Dec 2009 10:46 AM


JERUSALEM - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown telephoned opposition leader Tzipi Livni on Wednesday afternoon, and expressed his total objection to the arrest warrant a UK court issued against her. The call came a day after British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called Livni in an apparent effort to prevent a diplomatic crisis sparked by a British arrest warrant issued against the former foreign minister from spinning completely out of control.

According to an announcement released by Kadima's spokesman, Brown told Livni that she is welcome in Britain at any time, and said that he intended on acting to change the current legal situation.

Livni said that there is an immediate need to change the situation, not for her sake, but for every decision-maker, commander and soldier in Israel and the world, who are forced to battle terror.

Earlier Wednesday, the former foreign minister spoke out against the "abuse" of legal systems, which constitute a threat not only to Israel but to all democracies.

"These days, Israel is facing something that no democracy can accept. Legal systems are being abused for lawsuits against soldiers and officials," Livni said during a meeting at the Knesset with Lithuania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Vygaudas UĊĦackas, who is in Jerusalem on an official visit.

"This is not just against Israel but against all democracies," Livni said.

"Lawsuits are needed against terrorists and not against those who fight terror. It's not against me personally, but is against the free world and its war against terrorist. It's a challenge for the free world to meet. [The legal systems] are being abused by those who don't care about civilians and we must confront them together," she added.

In a statement she gave the BBC on Tuesday, Livni expressed similar sentiments.

"What needs to be put on trial here is the abuse of the British legal system," she said. "This is not a suit against Tzipi Livni, this is not a lawsuit against Israel. This is a lawsuit against any democracy that fights terror."

Livni reiterated her conviction in the necessity of the moves the government, which she was part of, made during the three-week Gaza operation which began in December last year.

"The decisions that we made are the same decisions that any country that wants to defend its citizens would have taken and it's about time to put terrorists on trial, and not those who want to stop terror and bring life or peace to our region," she stated.

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