» Tuesday, November 9, 2004


Asked about the Black Watch, the PMOS said that as with any deployment the Black watch would obviously view the way they were operating on a day-by-day basis. That was entirely sensible and would be left entirely to them.

Asked about developments in Falluja, the PMOS said that the important thing was that the operation had started, after being given the go-ahead by the Iraqi Prime Minister and we should let the military get on with the job. We should recognise the difficult job they were doing. We should also recognise the reason why they were there, which was so that the people of Falluja along with the rest of Iraq could exercise their right to vote in January.

Asked about the Prime Minister’s assurance to the House of Commons that the Scots Guards would not be used to replace the Black Watch operations currently underway in Iraq and whether that assurance was specific to the Scots Guards or applied to all British troops, the PMOS told journalists that what the Prime Minister had said was that, contrary to what was being suggested, there were no plans at the moment to replace the Black Watch with the Scots Guards. As the Prime Minister had said in the past, we had to wait and see the precise circumstances, but that was the reality at this stage. The important thing was that there was an absolute commitment to have the Black Watch home for Christmas, and that would be honoured. There was a commitment to see through this time-limited operation, and that would be done. The important thing was that progress was made in Falluja.

Put to him that it was a fair assumption that since the Black Watch deployment was linked to the situation Falluja, then once the situation in Falluja was resolved we would know more about the status of the Black Watch operation and what, if anything, would follow it, the PMOS said that was an analysis he could not disagree with.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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