» Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Washington trip

Asked what would be on the agenda for the Prime Minister’s various meetings in Washington on Thursday 7th December with the US President and leading members of the Congress, the PMOS outlined the main themes for the trip climate change, the G8 actions on Africa, Darfur, world trade, the Middle East, Afghanistan, and the outcome of the Iraq Study Group report published tomorrow.

The PMOS explained that the Prime Minister will say climate change and global security are different sides of the same coin, and the coming years present a real opportunity to get an international breakthrough on agreeing a post-2012 framework to tackle climate change.

Now that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made Africa one of her priorities for the upcoming G8, the PMOS said the Prime Minister hoped to drive forward the promises made by G8 leaders on Africa at Gleneagles in 2005. On Darfur, he said the Prime Minister will argue that pressure must be maintained on the Government of Sudan and President Bashir.

On world trade, the PMOS said the Prime Minister will stress that time is running out for a WTO deal, but there is a short window of opportunity before March in which everyone has a chance to move forward.

The PMOS said the Prime Minister would also want to look ahead to upcoming talks on the Middle East and the need for a holistic strategy for the region. Asked whether he agreed that it is a good idea to talk to Iran and Syria, the PMOS said that both countries have a strategic choice to make about their involvement in the region.

On Afghanistan, the PMOS said the Prime Minister would discuss progress made on the military campaign, as well as the development and reconstruction campaign in the country.

Asked whether the Prime Minister would use this trip to collect the Congressional Medal awarded to him by the US Government, the PMOS explained the Prime Minister would be deeply honoured to collect that medal at another time but there were other important issues to be addressed on this trip.

Briefing took place at 17:00 | Search for related news

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