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Monday, 16 November 2009

PM Gordon Brown's Foreign Policy Speech at Lord Mayor's Banquet Guildhall Preview

In a short while, PM Gordon Brown will lay out a detailed analysis of Britain's position with respect to key areas such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, here are some preview extracts;

On Britain’s role in the world:

"At every point in our history where we have looked outwards, we have become stronger. And now, more than ever, there is no future in what was once called 'splendid isolation'”.

"When Britain is bold, when Britain is engaged, when Britain is confident and outward-looking, we have shown time and again that Britain has a power and an energy that far exceeds the limits of our geography, our population, and our means".

"As a nation we have every reason to be optimistic about our prospects: confident in our alliances, faithful to our values and determined as progressive pioneers to shape the world to come".

"And that is why I say our foreign policy must be both patriotic and internationalist: a foreign policy that recognises and exploits Britain's unique strengths, and defends Britain’s national interests strongly – not by retreating into isolation, but by advancing in international co-operation".

"I believe that Britain can inspire the world. I believe that Britain can challenge the world. But most importantly of all I believe that Britain can and must play its full part in changing the world..."

"...and to do so we must have confidence in our distinctive strengths: our global values, global alliances and global actions; because with conviction in our values and confidence in our alliances, Britain can lead in the construction of a new global order".

On the threat from Al Qaeda:

“Make no mistake, Al Qaeda has an extensive recruitment network across Africa the Middle East, Western Europe - and in the UK. We know that there are still several hundred foreign fighters based in the FATA area of Pakistan travelling to training camps to learn bomb making and weapons skills. Al Qaeda also has links to the Afghan and Pakistan Taleban.”

“Since 2001, nearly 200 persons have been convicted of terrorist or terrorist-related offences in Britain. And to those who say this threat is not real, I ask them to consider that almost half of those convicted pleaded guilty”.

And what this means for the campaign in Afghanistan and our support to Pakistan:

“Vigilance in defence of national security will never be sacrificed to expediency. Necessary resolution will never succumb to appeasement. The greater international good will never be subordinated to the mood of the passing moment.”

“So I vigorously defend our action in Afghanistan and Pakistan because Al Qaeda is today the biggest source of threat to our national security - and to the security of peoples lives in Britain… and tonight I can report that more has been planned and enacted with greater success in this one year to disable Al Qaeda than in any year since the original invasion in 2001.”

“Tonight I want to leave you with a clear summary of Britain’s case, and that of the coalition as a whole. We are in Afghanistan because we judge that if the Taleban regained power Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups would once more have an environment in which they could operate. We are there because action in Afghanistan is not an alternative to action in Pakistan, but an inseparable support to it”.

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