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Chavez Accuses Dutch Military Planes Of Violating Airspace

Venezuelan Leader Tells Netherlands To "Stop Provoking" His Country

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (pictured) says a Dutch military airplane recently violated Venezuelan airspace on multiple occasions, and said the incursions could have diplomatic repercussions.

A statement from the Venezuelan government said it was able to positively identify the airplane, which they claim penetrated its airspace three times, "even through the aircraft used techniques to hide its position and identification."

The statement says that diplomatic relations between the countries could suffer if the flights continue. "Venezuela demands that the government of the Netherlands take the necessary measures so these acts of provocation cease," the statement said.

The Associated Press reports that no specifics as to the origins of the flights were given, but that Chavez has taken The Netherlands to task in the past for allowing the U.S. military to stage operations on Dutch islands off the Venezuelan coast. Chavez sees those actions as preparations for a possible military attack against Venezuela.

FMI: www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/35766.htm

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