Asked about NATO’s response to threats around the world, the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson (PMS) said the Prime Minister’s focus during this week’s summit was on maintaining NATO’s resources and political resolve to tackle new and emerging threats. As for the UK’s specific actions, the PMS outlined the government’s £150 billion programme of investment in defence capability, and the UK’s contribution to NATO’s Rapid Reaction Force. The PMS also highlighted NATO’s continued involvement in Afghanistan, including the funding and training of Afghan forces.
Ukraine and Russia
Asked about the government’s reaction to reports of a ceasefire in Ukraine, the PMS said the government was seeking further information through the British Embassy in Kiev, but reiterated that action on the ground is what counts. On the question of the UK’s approach to Russia, the PMS said the government seeks a political solution alongside respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Asked about the recent kidnapping and killing of ISIL hostages, the PMS said the UK would continue to work with international partners in tackling the poisonous ideology at the heart of ISIL. On the government’s policy towards Iraq, the PMS stressed the need for a more inclusive government in Baghdad, and highlighted the UK’s humanitarian and non-lethal military assistance delivered to the Kurdish Regional Government, and others on the ground fighting ISIL. On the question of extremists returning from Iraq and Syria, the PMS said the government was looking at further ways of stopping British extremists returning to do harm in the UK.