Britain eyeing ways to avoid warrants


LONDON (JTA) — Britain is exploring ways to enable Israeli politicians to visit without the threat of an arrest warrant or legal action by pro-Palestinian groups.

However, diplomatic sources rejected claims made in the Guardian newspaper Thursday that the attorney general will be asked to approve such arrest warrants in the future.

The action comes following the issue of an arrest warrant against Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who canceled a trip to Britain last weekend.

The Guardian reported that “the attorney general will be asked to approve warrants before suspected war criminals can be arrested in the future under a plan being negotiated by the Foreign Office in response to the row over attempts to arrest Israel’s former foreign minister.”

A Foreign Office spokesperson told JTA that meetings are taking place to explore all the options being considered.

During a Chanukah candlelighting ceremony Wednesday night at the Prime Minister’s official residence, senior Foreign Office officials said the issue was being dealt with at the highest level and expressed optimism that a solution would be found very soon. None of them referred to a specific solution.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a phone call to Livni told her that he was opposed to the attempt to arrest her. Brown also told the Kadima Party leader that she is welcome to visit Britain at any time.

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