Prince visit ‘in doubt after Libya celebrations’

Author: Agencies

The BBC reported that Britain was considering cancelling a visit due next
month by Prince Andrew, who has visited the country several times in his
role as a British trade ambassador.

The Prince’s office said a visit for next month was in the planning stages and
that Buckingham Palace was taking advice from the Foreign Office. The
Foreign Office could not confirm whether the visit would go ahead.

It would be the first concrete sign that relations between the UK and Libya
had been damaged by the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.

Downing Street said earlier that Mr Brown had written a letter to Colonel
Gaddafi asking that Libya “act with sensitivity” when the
Lockerbie bomber was returned home yesterday – a plea which fell on deaf
ears as Megrahi was greeted with a hero’s welcome.

Number 10 said Foreign Secretary David Miliband had been expressing the views
of the Government in condemning the scenes as “deeply distressing”,
but that the Prime Minister had made clear that the decision to release
Megrahi was the Scottish Government’s.

But Mr Cameron urged the Prime Minister to go further.

He wrote: “The scenes of him receiving a rapturous welcome at Tripoli
airport on his return will have distressed many people.

“I note that Colonel Gaddafi’s son has now publicly thanked not just the
Scottish authorities but the British Government for its stance, raising
questions about the British Government’s role.

“You have not commented on the decision since it was announced yesterday.
This morning your Foreign Secretary refused several requests to say what he
thought of the Scottish Justice Secretary’s decision.

“The fact that the decision to release was taken by the Scottish Justice
Secretary does not preclude you, as the Prime Minister of the United
Kingdom, from now expressing your opinion on a subject that is of great
public concern, and which affects Britain’s international reputation and our
relations with our allies.”

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