No real progress at the Bush-Brown Meeting - Just Token Gestures

Posted on Tuesday 31st July 2007

Today’s meeting between Gordon Brown and George Bush has taken an interesting twist as the two leaders made token gestures in their get-together this morning.

University of Birmingham’s Professor Scott Lucas, a US and British Foreign Policy specialist, says the sudden change of schedule yesterday indicates that either the Americans or the British wanted to get to grips with some of the troubling issues, such as Iraq, climate change, Afghanistan.

Yet Professor Lucas says there is no real significance in this: “There will be public face-savers today to cover the important issues, which will not be resolved.

“Brown already has offered some cover to Bush with his statements last night, invoking all the clichés about the special relationship without mentioning the l-word.

“Bush’s Administration, for its part, will join Brown in a token gesture on Darfur and Sudan, agreeing to go to the UN on a resolution for peacekeeping, and both sides will eagerly put out a puffed-up statement on the need to advance talks on world trade.”

However, Professor Lucas says that neither of these statements is politically significant. “The US will not take meaningful action on Sudan, he says, because they do not want to be pulled in militarily and politically and trade talks are stalled for the foreseeable future because of a number of disputes amongst ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ countries.”

ENDS

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Notes to Editors

Prof Scott Lucas is a specialist in US and Foreign Policy at the University of Birmingham.

Prof Lucas is available for interview, please call Anna Mitchell on 0121 414 6029 / 07920 593946 / a.i.mitchell@bham.ac.uk