(Edited from AP, UKPA) Foreign Secretary William Hague has moved to smooth over a diplomatic row with Israel, promising swift action to stop pro-Palestinian protesters targeting its officials with arrest warrants when they visit the UK.

Deputy prime minister Dan Meridor this week became the latest Israeli politician to cancel a visit to London following warnings that he could face arrest for war crimes, under the “universal jurisdiction” principle which allows particularly heinous offences to be tried outside the territory where they were allegedly committed.

(Edited from AP, UKPA) Foreign Secretary William Hague has moved to smooth over a diplomatic row with Israel, promising swift action to stop pro-Palestinian protesters targeting its officials with arrest warrants when they visit the UK.

Deputy prime minister Dan Meridor this week became the latest Israeli politician to cancel a visit to London following warnings that he could face arrest for war crimes, under the “universal jurisdiction” principle which allows particularly heinous offences to be tried outside the territory where they were allegedly committed.

Official Israeli sources indicated that Jerusalem would not resume a series of meetings under the high-level UK-Israel strategic dialogue until their representatives were freed from the risk of arrest.

But following talks in Jerusalem, Mr Hague and Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman voiced a shared commitment to “an early meeting” under the dialogue process.

Mr Hague assured Mr Lieberman of the Government’s commitment urgently to resolve what he termed the “unacceptable situation” with regard to universal jurisdiction.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke is due to table a draft legislative amendment shortly to prevent “mischievous” arrests under the universal jurisdiction principle, and the change is expected to come into effect next summer.

Diplomatic sources in London suggested that the next meeting of the strategic dialogue could take place before the change is implemented.

In their joint statement, Mr Hague and Mr Lieberman said: “Both ministers expressed their appreciation for the breadth and intensity of official exchanges between the two governments and affirmed their shared commitment to an early meeting of the high-level UK-Israel strategic dialogue.”

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