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Rice faces questions in Europe on "secret flights"

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Rice faces questions in Europe on "secret flights"

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Questions over claims of secret CIA flights and prisons for terrorist suspects are expected to come up during a visit to Europe this week by the US Secretary of State. Condoleeza Rice is due to hold talks in Germany, Brussels, Romania and Ukraine.

Pressure is mounting on Washington to explain reports of covert flights across the continent, making use of bases in Germany, among others. It is claimed prisoners have been moved to third countries where laws on interrogation are more relaxed. Romania and Poland have been named by Human Rights Watch as possible sites for secret prisons. Both countries deny that. The Council of Europe’s human rights watchdog is also looking into the claims. The issue came up last week during a visit by Germany’s new foreign minister to Washington. Rice promised then that the US would give a response to a letter sent by the European Union demanding answers on the issue.