» Thursday, February 16, 2006

Prime Minister’s visit to Germany

Asked for further details about the reasons for the Prime Minister’s visit to Germany tonight, as they had spoken quite a few times on the phone, the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman (PMOS) said that Chancellor Merkel and ourselves were very keen to maintain regular contact, not only at official level, but also at the level of Chancellor and Prime Minister. People would see that this was a routine process. Secondly, inevitably, Chancellor Merkel’s first visit to London was in the immediate aftermath of her becoming Chancellor, as well as being in the run-up to the European Council, so EU Council business had dominated. There would be continued discussions of EU matters, but other issues had since come to the fore, not least Iran, which would be a dominant issue. The PMOS said other issues likely to be discussed were also the election of Hamas, amongst others. There would be a fair degree of emphasis on the international perspective.

Asked to clarify that the trips would become a "routine process", the PMOS replied that what people would see would be regular contact of one kind or another between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.

Asked if that meant the German Chancellor, the PMOS said, amid laughter, that it would become even more so.

Put that everyone was fairly impressed with Chancellor Merkel’s performance at the Brussels Summit in helping to find a way, the PMOS said that issues such as Iran had illustrated the benefit of maintaining regular contact during choppy periods.

Asked if it was a choppy period, the PMOS said that Iran was a difficult issue. The election of Hamas did raise new issues. Energy and the European issue went up the agenda. Therefore, there were plenty of issues to discuss.

Asked if energy would be on the agenda, the PMOS said that energy was an issue that was at the heart of most discussions these days.

Asked if we had cleared the new regular meeting systems with President Chirac, the PMOS replied that we maintained regular contact with President Chirac. The PMOS also said that the journalist should stop making mischief, just because it was the end of term…!

Asked for further details about the Hungarian leg of the Prime Minister’s trip, the PMOS said that the Prime Minister would have a bilateral with the Hungarian Prime Minister, and there would also be a Hungarian Party event as well.

Briefing took place at 6:00 | Search for related news

1 Comment »

  1. As usual, Blair spends more time abroad than at home. Pity he doesn’t just stay abroad. He’s a disaster for England.

    Comment by Della Petch — 16 Feb 2006 on 5:32 pm | Link

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