Afghanistan and BP on agenda for Obama-Cameron meeting



Afghanistan and BP on agenda for Obama-Cameron meeting 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