02 December 2005

Ahern accepts US assurances on Shannon usage


""I'd say that Dermot and assorted other Republic 'bag men' were accepting more than 'categoric assurances' from the US...

01 December 2005 23:07

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern, has said that he accepts 'categoric assurances' from the US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, that Shannon Airport has not been used for 'anything untoward' in relation to CIA rendition flights.

The minister was speaking after a meeting with Condoleeza Rice in Washington this afternoon. The meeting was not open to media questions.

The US Secretary of State travels to Europe next week and is expected to respond to concerns raised about reports that the CIA secretly used European airports and detention centres to transport and interrogate prisoners.

A report in today's New York Times, quoting aviation industry sources and human rights groups, says that some 33 CIA flights have gone through Shannon over the past four years.

The meeting between Dermot Ahern and Condoleeza Rice is understood to have involved a 'frank exchange' on the issue of Shannon, according to officials present.

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