Left Euro-MP challenges US Ambassador, denounces 'act of piracy in international waters'

During an exchange of views with William E. Kennard, the U.S. Ambassador to the EU in the International Trade Committee in the European Parliament on Tuesday, Irish Socialist Party and United Left Group MEP Joe Higgins MEP (GUE/NGL, Ireland ) challenged the ambassador about the weak US response to the slaughter of peace activists yesterday by the Israeli Defence Force.

"In the period of the '60s, '70s and '80s, the US was known for having a policy of so-called value-free trade relations, with a record of trade with and support for brutal dictatorships across the world. I question whether this has changed under the Obama administration? Will the trade relations of the US with Israel change after what happened yesterday with the killing of at least nine peace activists on boats destined for Gaza ?"

In response, the Ambassador said that President Obama had issued a statement expressing his great regret and emphasised the need to get the "full information" about what had happened.

But Joe Higgins would not let this pass, pointing out that "It is perfectly clear what has happened - it was an act of piracy in international waters".