» Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Middle East

Asked for a reaction to today’s Guardian splash regarding a DfID report expressing Government alarm over the US losing interest in the Middle East peace process, the PMOS said that there was a lot of activity going on behind the scenes at this stage of the process. It was therefore important for people to not to mistake the lack of public action for inaction. Asked if he was referring to the International Development Secretary, Hilary Benn, who had signed off the report, the PMOS said no. He pointed out that the report outlined a number of scenarios. It did not state categorically that a particular course of action was being taken. We believed that people were continuing to engage on this issue and that discussions were taking place behind the scenes. As we knew from our experience in Northern Ireland, there were periods when a lot could be going on in the background which people might not necessarily be aware of.

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

1 Comment »

  1. Keep in mind that the whole point of diplomacy is lost the moment something hits the papers; the papers are occasionally used as a tool of last resort, but are more often the sign of a complete breakdown in diplomatic efforts to solve a problem.

    While "no news is good news" doesn’t apply to us, the readership, it definitely applies to the day-to-day lives of diplomats; we can but hope that they can make some headway into this problem.

    Comment by Gregory Block — 22 Jul 2004 on 9:47 am | Link

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