» Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Asked why the Prime Minister was travelling to Libya, the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman (PMOS) replied that this trip was all about showing the need to keep re-engaging with Africa as a whole. There was a direct line in terms of theme from Gleneagles to the G8 this year in Germany. Chancellor Merkel had said that the two top themes for her G8 summit would be climate change and Africa, our two top themes from Gleneagles. Taking Sierra Leone, here was a country moving towards elections, the first since the UN has left. This was only possible due to continuing engagement from countries such as ourselves. Looking at Libya, the Prime Minister visited Libya in March 2004 after Libya had said the previous year that it was giving up its WMDs. This was not the end of the story. We had continued to re-engage at a political level through Ministerial visits. We also continued to re-engage at an economic level and today BP will announce that they would be going back into Libya. Re-engagement works - whether it be in Sierra Leone, Libya or Africa in general. South Africa was also an important player in its own right regionally, but was also now on the UN Security Council. Therefore it had an even more important voice on issues such as climate change, but also regional issues such as Darfur.

Briefing took place at 9:00 | Read whole briefing | Comments (0)

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