Afghanistan and BP on agenda for Obama-Cameron meeting

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 15:28

Washington: The current situation in
Afghanistan and the oil spill by the BP in the Gulf of Mexico
are expected to figure prominently when US President Barack
Obama meets British Prime Minister David Cameroon at the White
House Tuesday.

This would be the first meeting between the two
leaders at the White House, though their first meeting was
held in Canada last month on the sidelines of the G8/G-20
Summit.

"I think that on the list will be Afghanistan
certainly, no doubt our global economic recovery, the Middle
East. All of those topics I think will be something that
these two leaders spoke about in Canada just a few weeks ago
and will likely continue those conversations. I would say
Afghanistan is probably first and foremost on that list,"
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters.

Besides, Afghanistan and BP, the release of Abdel
Basset Mohamed al-Megrahi by the British and Scottish
authorities could also figure in the talks, Gibbs said.
Megrahi was convicted of orchestrating the bombing of
Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988.

"I think this issue will come up. And, again, I would
reiterate that it was our strong belief then and it continues
to be our strong belief now that the Lockerbie bomber should
not have been released," he said.

"We know the potential for the creation of a terrorist
safe haven if their intentions to the Afghan government were
to come true. I think the President has on a number of
occasions laid out why what he`s doing in Afghanistan is in
our national security interests," Gibbs said.

"We will continue to make that case. Obviously we have
in both this administration and in the previous administration
had the help of the British government. I think both they and
we have said we will not be there forever; we have to stand up
an Afghan national security force, an army and a police,"
Gibbs said.

"We have to improve governance, a lot of which will be
discussed this week at the Kabul conference, which builds off
of a whole host of events around making sure that we sustain
our progress in Afghanistan," he said.

During the meeting, Cameron is expected to make the
case that although BP should be held to its commitments to
compensate for the damage caused the oil spill, the company
should remain strong and stable.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 15:28

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