» Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Asked what the Prime Minister would be looking to get out of the meeting with Secretary General Rasmussen, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that the meeting would discuss the campaigns in Libya and Afghanistan. There was a decision expected shortly from the US on troop numbers in Afghanistan and the PMS thought that would form part of the discussion.

Put that Robert Gates had been critical of some NATO partners for not committing to spending 2% of GDP on Defence and what was the Prime Minister’s view on that, the PMS said that the Government had set out its own Defence plans and that implied that we would stay above 2%, meaning that we would meet our NATO commitment.

The PMS said that the amount countries spent on national programmes were a matter for those countries – we would not dictate to others what they should be spending on specific programmes.

Asked if the Prime Minister would be asking for more contributions towards the campaign in Libya, the PMS replied that he would update journalists after the meeting, but it was essentially a stock-take on the campaign.

When asked about the British military involvement in Libya, the PMS said that it was worth remembering that this was a NATO-led operation and we were an important part of that effort. We thought that the measures we were taking on the military front, as well as economic and political measures, were proving effective in putting pressure on the Qadhafi regime.

Asked if there had been any requests from the military for more firepower, the PMS replied that operational decisions were taken by the command and control structure in NATO. The campaign involved a broad cross-section of countries.

original source.

Briefing took place at 10:00 | Search for related news

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