» Monday, February 12, 2007

Merkel Meeting

Asked for some more information about the Prime Minister’s meeting with Chancellor Merkel on Tuesday, the PMOS replied that we supported Germany’s agenda for the EU Presidency and the G8 and the talks would concentrate on the following areas:

  • In terms of climate change, we needed to work towards an agreement with the G8+5 on the elements of a post-Kyoto framework including a global stabilisation goal, and carbon trading system. This should be a framework that included not just the US, but also China and India.
  • Secondly, we needed to try and push forward the Middle East peace process and work out how the EU could take the lead in building Palestinian capacity. When the Prime Minister went to the Middle East before Christmas, he had identified building Palestinian capacity as one of the main things that we needed to do, and we needed to work with President Abbas to achieve this.
  • Thirdly we were now at a critical stage in terms of getting WTO agreement, and we need to push that forward, not just with the EU, but also the US, and the developing countries as well.
  • And finally on Africa, we needed to make sure the Gleneagles promises were delivered, and also increasing the pressure on President Bashir of Sudan to end the violence in Darfur.

Asked if they would be discussing the European Constitution, the PMOS replied that the Constitution would not be the main focus of the EU Summit in March, and the issue surrounding the Constitution would be discussed later in the year.

Asked if they had a view on support for the new Palestinian Government, the PMOS replied that this was an issue that would also be discussed at the GAERC today. The important thing here was that we had been clear all along that we were prepared to deal with the National Unity Government, so long as that Government did recognise the Quartet principles and previous agreements, and was committed to non-violence. Those were the principles that were laid down, not by any one individual country, but by the United Nations and the international community as a whole. We believed that this was the basis on which to proceed. Put to him that on that basis we wouldn’t recognise the National Unity Government as they did not recognise Israel, the PMOS replied that we would wait to see where we ended up when a National Unity Government was formed and on what basis it was formed.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Search for related news

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