Canada is recalling its ambassador to Israel to protest the use of Canadian passports in an apparent assassination attempt by two suspected Israeli spies.
Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy on Thursday said his country had determined
the passports were forged and that neither of the men were Canadian nationals.
The spy drama has sparked a diplomatic row between Canada and Israel.
Speaking in New York, where he attended the U-N General Assembly, Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy said his country was recalling its ambassador.
"We have determined that the individual...the passports used by the two individuals being held by the Jordanians were forgeries, that we're certain that the individuals themselves are not Canadians according to the information we have. We were in touch with the crown prince of Jordan today to get any further information and gave assurances about those developments. We've also been in touch with the Israeli officials and indicated our very serious concern about what took place and we've recalled our ambassador to Ottawa for discussions about the incident itself and what we might do about it."
SUPER CAPTION: Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy
Two men carrying Canadian passports were arrested last week in Amman, Jordan, after an apparent attempt on the life of a top official of the extremist group Hamas.
Khalid Mashaal, political chief of the militant movement, was assaulted outside his office in Amman last Thursday.
Hamas described the attack as a botched assassination attempt by Israel's secret service, Mossad.
Israel denies the charge.
Illegal Canadian passports have been used in crimes and covert operations in the past.
A former Mossad agent has written a book describing hundreds of blank Canadian passports stacked at Mossad headquarters in the 1980s.
Earlier this week, Israeli Radio said Israel had agreed to release Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin as part of a swap for the two suspected Israeli agents.
On Thursday, however, King Hussein of Jordan denied there had been a deal.