» Thursday, May 17, 2007

Prime Minister’s Visit to Washington

Asked about the Prime Minister having stayed overnight in the White House, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS)said it was almost unique for anyone to stay at the White House under this administration. This was therefore an honour which the President had kindly extended to the Prime Minister. In terms of what they talked about, it was a private conversation.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)

Climate Change

Asked what the Prime Minister would be saying to the President about climate change and Americas stance on that, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister would say that we believe there was a growing chance of involving India and China in a genuine international consensus about how to deal with climate change. The consensus it was hoped, would be reflected at the G8, a consensus had to be found. The Prime Minister believed it was very good that there had been that Europe had agreed a consensus on climate change but that would not work unless there was global agreement. That is what the Prime Minister was working towards for the G8.

Asked if the Prime Minister shared the view of the Deputy Prime Minister, expressed at the John Smith Institute speech, that it was wrong for America to seek parity with China because of the difference in population, the PMOS said in terms of recognising that there were differences between developing countries and developed countries, that was simply a fact. Equally part of what was agreed at Gleneagles was the process of transferring clean energy technology from the developed world to the developing world. You could not have the situation where America is on one track and India and China are on another track. China has to be part of the solution as it is building one new power station a week, not necessarily with green technology. Put to the PMOS that the Deputy Prime Minister had said that America, not China was the problem, the PMOS said that China was developing at such a rate that it would very quickly be part of the problem, no one was immune from being part of the problem. What did not work was the suggestion that economies should be closed down worldwide or the development of new technologies to stop.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Prime Minister and the Chancellor

Put to the PMOS that the Chancellor was de facto Prime Minister in waiting why did he have to wait until the end of the period of 27th June, why not handover now, the PMOS said in terms of the leadership it was not a matter for him to speak about but the Party would confirm that there is a process that had been set out and they are both following that process. In terms of the Prime Minister's intentions he clearly set out his intentions, both before he made the announcement and after. The Prime Minister has a busy domestic and international agenda. At a domestic level, including pushing forward on education, health and other matters, taking the Prime Minister to the stage he wants to leave them at and secondly internationally, there is a very important G8 Summit coming up with very important issues of climate change and Africa. These are issues the Prime Minister took to the international agenda and which he wishes to get to a better stage before he departs. On the EU Summit, again the Prime Minister has been heavily involved in the preparations. There are major issues still to be finalised within the coming period.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

World Bank

Asked where the Government stood on Paul Wolfowitz, the PMOS said that we stood where we had stood for how ever long the issue had been going on. This was a matter for the World Bank, it was being resolved by the World Bank, and it remained a matter for the World Bank. The PMOS added that we were confident that World Bank resolve the issue.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

Prince Harry

Asked if the Prime Minister had anything, to do with the decision not to send Prince Harry to Iraq, the PMOS said General Sir Richard Dannatt had made clear that it had been a decision taken for military reasons. The PMOS added that No.10 fully supported the reasons. It had been a difficult decision but the right decision. Asked if the decision had already been made by the armed forces and then signalled to the Prime Minister or had the Prime Minister been asked his view before the decision was made, the PMOS said he would not get into the processology other than it was a military decision, taken for military reasons and the Prime Minister fully supported those who had taken that decision.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comment (1)


Asked if the Prime Minister felt it was time for the international community to take a fresh approach in light of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) findings, the PMOS said in terms of Iran we made clear at the time of the release of the 15 navy personnel, that on the one hand we would not in any way pull our punches, in saying what they had done was acceptable or in dealing with the nuclear issue. The position that we had on the nuclear issue is not a British position but a United Nations (UN) position, a world position. At the time of the release of the 15 navy personnel contacts were made and those contacts would continue. The PMOS added that we had to make Iran try and become a constructive member of the international community, rather than defying the world over the nuclear issue and Iraq. Asked if was accepted that it was too late to stop Iran from enrichment, the PMOS said that the place to deal with Iran was at the UN, but we believed that the action that had been taken to date was having an impact in Iran and Iran recognised that it was isolated. Pressure had worked and would continue to work.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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