Prime Minister’s meeting with Taoiseach Enda Kenny
Asked if the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach would discuss the bilateral loan rate of interest, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) said that the Prime Minister and the Taoiseach would discuss a number of different issues including Northern Ireland, the upcoming State visit to Ireland, as well as European issues. In terms of the rate of interest no request had been made to the UK or any other country.
Asked what the Prime Minister had meant when he said over the weekend that there was more we could do in Libya, the PMS said that our approach was to see what more we could do to increase pressure on the regime politically, diplomatically and militarily, in order to fulfil our obligations under the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (UNSCR 1973). We had already said that we were providing a range of non-lethal assistance to the opposition groups. We were in contact with opposition groups and had had, at various times, people on the ground in Benghazi talking to them. We would keep these things under review and see if there was anything more we could provide within the confines of UNSCR 1973.
Asked what the Government’s position was on providing military assistance to rebels, the PMS said that we had not made a decision to do that. The Foreign Secretary had set out a couple weeks ago that it was possible to provide assistance to the opposition groups in certain circumstances, provided the assistance was consistent with the objectives of UNSCR 1973.
Asked what the Government’s position was on British troops on the ground, the PMS said that the position was as set out in UNSCR 1973.
Asked if the Prime Minister thought that today’s International Development Secretary’s announcements on funding in Misrata went far enough, the PMS said that the International Development Secretary was in New York today to meet with the UN and discuss what more we needed to do. We thought the two announcements today would ease the situation in Misrata, but we were clear that the situation continued to be grave and we would keep it under review, which was why we were having discussions with international partners, including the UN.
Asked if the Prime Minister was happy with Whitehall’s procedures regarding redacting documents under the FOI Act, the PMS said that we were asking departments to look again at their procedures to make sure they were robust.