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Sunday Feb. 21, 2010 5:44 PM (EST+7)
UAE summons EU envoys, vows justice in Dubai killing

Read more: Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, Dubai assassination, forged passports, Mossad, EU foreign ministers, UAE foreign minister

DUBAI, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The use of forged passports in the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai is a global security threat, a United Arab Emirates minister said on Sunday, vowing to bring those behind the killing to justice.

Dubai police say the 11 suspects in the Jan. 19 killing of Palestinian Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in one of the emirate's luxury hotels used forged passports from Britain, France, Ireland and Germany, and were probably Israeli agents.

The abuse of passports poses a global threat, affecting both countries' national security as well as personal security of travelers, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan was quoted as saying on state news agency WAM.

We fully intend that those responsible are brought to account for their actions, he said.

The report said UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash summoned European Union ambassadors on Sunday to brief them on the case and seek their support in the investigation.

Dubai's police chief said last week he was 99 percent sure Israel's intelligence agency Mossad was behind the killing and would seek Interpol's help to arrest its chief if there was enough evidence.

Israel is coming under mounting pressure from its European allies over the incident.

Britain last week urged Israel to cooperate in its investigation into the apparent use of faked British passports in the assassination, and Ireland has also expressed concern.

Both countries called in their Israeli ambassadors last week, and the British and Irish foreign ministers are expected to meet their Israeli counterpart in Brussels on Monday.

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Saturday condemned the assassination and called for the truth about the killing to be established.

Austria said last week it was investigating the suspected use of at least seven mobile phones with pre-paid Austrian chips by the suspects in Mahbouh's killing.

The UAE has asked all the countries involved to build on the positive steps they are already taking to strengthen procedures preventing the abuse of passports, WAM said.

The UAE, an Arab state that backs Palestinians seeking an independent state and an end to Israel's occupation, has no diplomatic relations with Israel.

But it has established low-level contacts in recent years, with some Israeli officials attending events in the Gulf Arab state. Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer is competing in the Dubai Championships this week. (Reporting by Raissa Kasolowsky, editing by Tim Pearce)






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