» Friday, September 11, 2009

President Obama phonecall

Asked whether the Prime Minister offered President Obama his own personal view on the decision to free Mr al-Megrahi, the PMS said that the phone call between the Prime Minister and President Obama had been a long and productive one, lasting approximately forty minutes. A small amount of time was spent talking about the release of al-Megrahi. The Prime Minister raised the subject, stating that it had been a decision for the Scottish Executive. As people would have seen, the White House had put out a statement about the phone call and the fact that the President expressed his disappointment but understood it was a decision for the Scottish Executive.

Asked why the fact that the Prime Minister had raised the subject of al-Megrahi had not appeared in the briefing yesterday, the PMS said that we did not have to put out every detail of a call. The important thing was that this was a very productive call, in which the Prime Minister and President Obama spoke about the G20, Afghanistan and other important subjects.

Put that it looked like Downing Street was trying to conceal details of the phone call, the PMS said no; the fact that we informed people of the call and sent out a briefing was indication of the fact we were not trying to conceal anything.

Asked if the Prime Minister was disappointed that the President expressed disappointment, the PMS said that the Prime Minister and the President had a very productive discussion about the agenda for the next few weeks.

Asked why the Prime Minister had felt the need to bring the subject of al-Megrahi up, the PMS said that it would have been surprising if the subject had not have come up.

Asked if there had been a discussion about troop numbers in Afghanistan ahead of the McChrystal report, the PMS said that he did not want to go into anymore detail, other than to say that both the Prime Minister and the President were focussed on the importance of Afghanisation.

Asked if there had been any discussion on timelines concerning Afghanistan, the PMS said that there had been a brief discussion about the international conference.

original source.

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

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