» Thursday, April 30, 2009


Asked why the Prime Minister was sounding such a confident and optimistic note on Iraq when there were still five British people being held hostage there, the PMS suggested this issue should be seen in the wider context, which was that progress had been made in Iraq as the Prime Minister had mentioned that morning. This included progress on security, which meant we had been able to hand over responsibility for security to the Iraqis in the provinces that Britain was responsible for, progress on the economy in recent months and years and improvements in the political system in Iraq with democratic elections and democratic government now properly established.

Asked how soon an inquiry could be expected on Iraq, the PMS said the position on the inquiry was that the Government had always said the appropriate time for an inquiry would come, but only when British troops had left Iraq, a process which had only started today. Asked if an announcement would be on 31st July, the PMS said further announcements would follow as and when the Government was in a position to make further announcements. The PMS also said he would not make predictions on the draw down of British troops, which was a decision for operational commanders.

Asked if the situation was at a point of no return, the PMS replied that we had today announced the end of the combat phase in Iraq. Asked if an inquiry would be delayed by the presence of a couple of hundred troops, the PMS said announcements would follow when the Government was in a position to make them.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

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