» Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Palestine Conference

Asked what would be the significance of President Bush’s remarks on the Palestine Conference next week; did they lend some "much needed gravitas", and also what was the Prime Minister’s response on Darfur, as there had been comments that the issue had been drowned out by the tsunami disaster, the PMOS said that the US confirmed at an early stage that Condoleezza Rice would be attending the Palestinian Conference. Therefore, that guaranteed the significance of the meeting in terms of the US’s view of it. Once the cast list had been viewed, especially with regards to the Palestinian contingent, people would understand that this was a significant conference. The true significance of the conference, however, was not what would be said in advance of it, but rather the practical outputs that would come from it to help the Palestinian authorities to develop as an authority, and as a partner for negotiations.

Regarding Darfur, the PMOS reminded journalists what the Prime Minister had said during the Sudan trip. It was a serious situation and continued to be so. We strongly support the African Union in what it was doing in trying to take the lead to tackle the situation. What needed to be understood was that international attention including the UK attention, would not in any way disappear. This was an issue that the Prime Minister personally followed, and he would ensure that we did everything we could to help in what was a very difficult situation.

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

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