Britain, France discuss airline security measures

20th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Sept 19, 2006 (AFP) - French Transport Minister Dominique Perben met here Tuesday with British counterpart Douglas Alexander to discuss airline security ahead of a summit of European transport ministers in Luxembourg next month.

LONDON, Sept 19, 2006 (AFP) - French Transport Minister Dominique Perben met here Tuesday with British counterpart Douglas Alexander to discuss airline security ahead of a summit of European transport ministers in Luxembourg next month.

Tuesday's talks, ahead of the October 12 summit, revolved around measures to combat the threat of liquid explosives onboard -- including the potential banning of liquids in cabins -- and centred also on hand luggage restrictions and the frequency of body searches.

After meeting Alexander in the British capital, Perben told reporters there was a need for Europe to come together on the issue of tighter airport security.

He added that a certain number of larger countries were "very concerned" by the issue and would be key to reaching a consensus.

Last week, the European Commission said it would restrict the amount of liquids allowed in hand luggage for air passengers, in a new security measure aimed at preventing airborne terrorist attacks using liquid explosives.

Perben added that it was necessary to find "a good balance" between the need to fight terrorism, while giving minimum disruption and discomfort to airplane passengers.

If the 25-member European Commission can reach agreement over new anti-terror restrictions, then pressure could be brought to bear in the wider international community, Perben added.

Addressing the issue in Brussels last week, European Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot said that "a common European response to address this threat is urgent".

Under the new EC scheme, all 25 member states will be obliged to scan "complex electronic equipment" including portable computers separately, "in order to increase the ability of screeners to detect capability of concealed dangerous items", Barrot added.

British police said last month that they had thwarted a plan to blow up planes flying from Britain to the United States.

They added that the plot involved hiding explosive devices in hand baggage.

Four people charged in connection with an alleged plot to blow up US-bound jets were remanded in custody again on Tuesday when their cases were heard in a central London court.

Thirteen people had appeared before London's Central Criminal Court Monday. Eleven are charged with preparing acts of terrorism and conspiracy to murder.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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