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Tuesday, 25 September, 2001, 05:53 GMT 06:53 UK
Israel snubs UK Government
Breaking News
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is refusing to meet British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw because of Israeli anger over Mr Straw's comments on the Middle East.

Mr Straw is due in Israel later on Tuesday after landmark diplomatic talks in Iran.

Officially, Mr Sharon does "not have enough time in his schedule" to meet Mr Straw.

But many in the Israeli Government are infuriated by comments made by Mr Straw published in an Iranian newspaper.

"One of the factors that helps breeds terrorism is the anger which many people in this region feel at events over the years in Palestine, " Mr Straw said.

Ministers see Mr Straw's comments as implying that Israel is to blame for attacks carried out on Israelis.

They also object to use of word "Palestine" with its implication of statehood.

One Israeli minister described Mr Straw's comments as "abominable".

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's James Reynolds in Jerusalem
"The Israelis object to the implication that the Palestinians have a State"
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