News / USA

British, US Leaders Discuss Latest Oil Spill Developments

BP faces new pressure to do more to contain the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico

Tom Rivers

A weekend phone call between British Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama appears to have calmed some of the trans-Atlantic rhetoric regarding BP and its handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The exchange of words between Mr. Obama and Mr. Cameron that lasted for about 30 minutes has had the effect of calming down tensions, tensions that have risen as some here have sensed an anti-British tone in critical remarks made by some in Washington regarding BP's approach to the massive oil spill.

In his phone conversation Saturday, President Obama reportedly said that his frustration with BP was not about national identity.

Speaking to the BBC the next day, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the president's position is clear.

"I think the president made the United States' position very clear, they are not seeking, the United States, to undermine the value of BP," Hague said. "And they know full well that there are many thousands of people working for BP in the United States and there are almost as many American shareholders of BP as there are British shareholders and that is well understood on both sides of the Atlantic."

The BP board is expected to meet soon.  Among the items on the agenda, members are expected to discuss whether to hold back on paying out any second-quarter earning dividends given the scale of the spill crisis in the Gulf.

President Obama plans to press BP executives this week to set up an escrow account to handle damage claims made by those directly affected by the disaster.

In his broadcast interview, William Hague was asked what he thought BP might do.

"BP will decide on its own dividend of course, but let us be clear, it has a big task in front of it and it has had to work hard in recent weeks," Hague said.

During the weekend, the U.S. government gave BP 48 hours to come up with a more aggressive plan to capture a greater percentage of the leaking oil.

Hague stressed that BP must do its utmost to stop the release, to come up with a permanent solution and to do everything possible to mitigate the consequences.

Hague also said Britain stands ready to help.

"The U.K. government, we are playing our part in offering large quantities of chemical dispersant to the United States in order to try to help with this so, it has got a huge task in front of it, let us not, let us not underestimate that in any way," Hague said.

BP's chairman will meet with President Obama at the White House on Wednesday.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid