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British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould Photo: Oren Aharoni
British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould Photo: Oren Aharoni
 
 

UK ambassador's mysterious meetings

Matthew Gould holds secret meets with former British Defense Secretary Liam Fox and his close friend Adam Werritty, The Independent reports; links unconfirmed meetings to Iranian nuclear threat

Ynet
Published: 11.28.11, 10:17 / Israel News

The controversy surrounding the resignation of former British Defense Secretary Liam Fox last month, after it was revealed that his close friend, Adam Werritty, had joined him on his trips around the world, continues to captivate the attention of UK citizens.

 

According to a report by The Independent on Sunday, both Fox and Werritty had held unofficial meetings with British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould.

 

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The article, titled "Liam Fox, Adam Werritty, and the curious case of Our Man in Tel Aviv," claimed that "Liam Fox and his adviser met Britain's ambassador at least four times more than was previously admitted. So why were we not told this before? Isn't this yet more evidence that they were operating outside the control of the Foreign Office?"

 


ווריטי (מימין) ופוקס. הפרשה הובילה לפיטורים (צילום: EPA)

Werritty (R) and Fox (Photo: EPA)

 

The Independent stated that the three men had met in Tel Aviv at "a private dinner with senior Israelis." They also met prior to Gould becoming the ambassador, for "a general discussion of international defense and security matters".

  

In an official UK report about the Fox-Werritty affair, written by Cabinet Secretary Gus O'Donnell, only two meetings with Gould were mentioned, and the newspaper linked the unconfirmed meetings to the Iranian nuclear threat, saying: "Mr Werritty had visited Iran on several occasions and was so highly regarded by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad that he was able to arrange meetings at the highest levels of the Israeli government.

 

"The disclosure that he – and Dr. Fox – had met Britain's most senior official in Israel on more occasions than previously thought underlines their interest in the region."

 

Gus also observed that Werritty was invited to the meetings with Gould "as an individual with some experience in these (international defense and security) matters."

 

O'Donnell had claimed in his report that "some of those (meetings) took place before the election" which led to the establishment of the current UK government. However former UK ambassador Craig Murray revealed that only one meeting was held before the elections while five others were held afterwards.

 

'Just ask Gould'

Suspicions surrounding the affair grew stronger when Murray submitted a Freedom of Information request, asking the Foreign Office to hand over all correspondence between Gould and Werritty. However, his request was denied under the claim it was "likely to exceed the cost limit."

 

"It is plainly nonsense that to gather correspondence between two named individuals would be too expensive," Mr Murray said. "They could just ask Gould."

 

Meanwhile, Labour Party politician and parliament member Paul Flynn refused to let these new revelations slide, demanding a wider investigation of the affair with the help of the independent adviser on ministerial affairs.

 

 

 

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