Blair jet is intercept target for Israeli fighters

Other News Materials 23 May 2008 05:10 (UTC +04:00)

Israeli fighter aircraft were scrambled to intercept a jet carrying former British Prime Minister Tony Blair after it failed to identify itself as a friendly aircraft, reports in Britain said late Thursday.

The incident happened early Wednesday as Blair was en route to Israel from a World Economic Forum meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, Britain's Press Association said.

It was only after the two warplanes had taken up an attack position that his aircrew used the radio to explain who they were and who they had on board.

Blair has served as a special envoy for the so-called Middle East Quartet since he stepped down as prime minister in June 2007.

The report said it was only after the aircrew accounted for themselves that the intercepting aircraft peeled off and returned to base.

"Mr Blair was one of a number of delegates on a flight back from the World Economic Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh. We were not aware of any problem at the time and have not been notified of any issue with the flight," Blair's spokesman said, dpa reported.