Britain’s Cameron to meet Blinken, press Congress on Ukraine aid

By Thomson Reuters Apr 8, 2024 | 6:09 PM

LONDON (Reuters) – British foreign minister David Cameron will meet U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday on a trip to Washington to press lawmakers in Congress to pass an aid package for Ukraine and discuss the Israel-Gaza war.

Cameron last week said he would see Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and urge him to pass a $60 billion package of military aid for Ukraine, which he has held up for months.

“Success for Ukraine and failure for Putin are vital for American and European security,” Cameron said in a statement, saying that it was important to demonstrate to Russian President Vladimir Putin that “aggression doesn’t pay”.

“The alternative would only encourage Putin in further attempts to re-draw European borders by force, and would be heard clearly in Beijing, Tehran and North Korea.”

The foreign ministry said that Cameron would meet congressional leaders from both the Republicans and the Democrats.

Britain has been a staunch ally of Ukraine since Russia invaded in 2022, but Cameron will stress that it is the United States that is the “key stone in the arch” as its pace and scale of support for Ukraine is unmatched.

During the trip Cameron will stress the importance of increasing economic pressure on Russia and giving Ukraine “the military and humanitarian support it needs to hold the line this year and go on the offensive in 2025,” the foreign ministry said.

It added that Cameron would also discuss maritime routes for aid into Gaza during the trip, as well as push for a full and transparent investigation into the “completely unacceptable” deaths there of seven aid workers, including three Britons.

Cameron will reiterate Israel’s right to self-defence in accordance with international law after the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, but will stress that major changes need to be made to ensure the safety of aid workers on the ground, his office said.

(Reporting by Alistair Smout, Editing by William Maclean)