Monday, July 27, 2015

David Cameron Says UK Military Could Take Action in Syria and Libya 'to Protect Britons'
The Prime Minister issued the warning shortly before talks in Indonesia

The Independent
Monday 27 July 2015

David Cameron has warned that Britain could take military action against Isis  in Libya or Syria if there was an imminent threat to British lives, and said the international community is increasing efforts to “put the squeeze” on the terror group.

He issued the warning shortly before talks in Jakarta with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the start of a four-day tour of South-east Asia. Describing Isis as an “evil threat” to world security, the Prime Minister agreed a package of measures with Indonesia to counter the “shared enemy” of Isis  extremism, including British help to increase security at airports in Bali and Jakarta.

Mr Cameron said of the possibility of military action in Libya: “What I have said with respect to Libya, or indeed anywhere else, is if there is a plot under way where I believe British citizens are in danger of being targeted, if it’s possible to take action to stop that, I would. That is legal, that is right, that is proper and that’s the role of the Prime Minister.”

He said of the approach that the UK and Indonesia can take together against terrorism: “We are both concerned about the threat from Isil [Isis] and are determined to defeat these terrorists. We have agreed to step up our joint efforts both to tackle the terrorist threat and to counter the extremist narrative. The UK will provide a package of counter-terrorist support; this will include beefing up security at airports in Bali and Jakarta, enhanced co-operation on terrorism investigations, and training for 50 Indonesian counter-terrorism officers in the United Kingdom.

“Alongside this, Britain will seek to learn from Indonesia’s approach to countering extremism, with an exchange programme between religious and community leaders here and in the UK to foster a better understanding of what works.”

The main focus of the tour, which takes in Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia, will be on boosting trade links with the region but while meeting President Widodo he raised the case of Lindsay Sandiford, the British grandmother sentenced in January 2013 to death by firing squad for drugs trafficking.

She was found with cocaine worth an estimated £1.6m as she arrived on the island of Bali. Mrs Sandiford, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, admitted the offences but claimed she was coerced by threats to her son’s life.

Asked about the case before talks, Mr Cameron said: “On the issue of prisoners, I always raise these issues wherever I travel around the world, and will do so here. I want to do it in a way I hope will help the family concerned, and obviously will listen to the concerns of the families and their views before doing these things. That is the right way to proceed – to try and help.”

Press Association

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