» Monday, August 1, 2005

King Fahd

The Prime Minister's Spokesman (PMS) read the Prime Minister's tribute to the late King Fahd of Saudi Arabia who died this morning: "King Fahd was a man of great vision and leadership who inspired his countrymen for a quarter of a century as King, and for many more before that. He served his country with the utmost dedication and dignity. He led Saudi Arabia through a period of unparalleled prosperity and development. He was also a good friend of the United Kingdom. Our two countries have benefited very greatly over the years from his wise advice. Under his guidance we have developed extremely close political, commercial and defence links. They will always be seen as his legacy."

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (9)

Bombing Investigation/Border Controls

Asked about security procedures for the Eurostar at Waterloo after a suspect in the London Bombing investigation was able to get to Italy, the PMS said that whilst we would be reviewing the circumstances of this individual case, it was important not to make too many comments about the individual case itself since extradition proceedings were currently underway. Asked if we would be looking again at passport checks at Waterloo, the PMS said that we did have passport checks at the point of departure. Questioned as to whether it would require any legislation to change the procedures and impose passport checks, the PMS said that her understanding was that these were operational decisions, to be taken by the police and immigration authorities. Asked if British officials would be checking passports at Waterloo, the PMS said yes.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (2)


Asked what the Government's reaction was to Iran's decision to continue with re-processing Uranium, the PMS said that we were seeking clarification of Iran's intentions. We would urge them not to take any unilateral steps which might contravene the Paris agreement as that would make it very difficult to continue with the E3/Iran negotiations. If they persisted we would have to consult urgently with our partners on the board of the IAEA.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)


Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned that the Iraqi constitution did not seem to be maintaining the secular character he had hoped for, in particular with regards to women's rights, the PMS said that there was a meeting today of the constitutional committee. The Iraqis themselves had made it clear that they were working towards the August 15 deadline for the draft constitution and we should wait for that draft rather than speculating on what it might or might not say.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

Prime Minister

Asked if the Prime Minister was considering standing down as an MP at the next General election, the PMS said that the Prime Minister had not turned his mind to the issue at the present time. No doubt he would discuss that particular issue with his constituents and his family before making any announcement.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (3)

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