20 Jul 2010

Dave’s Twenty First Century City gift

The talks were dominated by Afghanistan, the draw-down, the remainder of the surge, the governance issues. The last of these featured very high in the chat.

In Kabul President Karzai was pretty brief in his words about how to reconcile the Taliban and that’s because there is much still to be agreed.

David Cameron couldn’t leave without some sort of gesture to the anti-BP anger so he agreed to ask Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell to see if there were more documents that might helpfully be released on the Prisoner Transfer Agreement history.

He’s been trying to walk a tricky line between defending the company on the narrow issue of involvement in the actual al-Megrahi compassionate release – without getting sucked into whether BP were behaving attractively in pushing for the PTA changes that Libya hoped would spring him soon by another route.

Iran also featured prominently in the talks – Europe is edging towards tougher sanctions and the US is pleased and looking forward to seeing them passed.

The Camerons’ gift to the Obamas is a painting by one of Samantha Cameron’s favourite artists, Ben Eine.

You can see it here on the right.

But David Cameron started the day with a Wall Street Journal article that sounded very much like a reproach to trivia-obsessed British press folk on overseas trips so, in the words of Zac Goldsmith, I’d better “watch it.”

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