News In Depth
PM angry with Algeria: ex-diplomat
A former UK ambassador to Algeria said David Cameron would be angry about the Algerian decision to launch a military raid without consulting the leaders of countries with citizens being held hostage.
Graham Hand, who was the UK's senior diplomat in Algiers from 2002 to 2004, said he was sure the terrorist action was in response to the French intervention in Mali, which has been supported by the British.
Mr Cameron was told that an operation was under way only when he telephoned the Algerian prime minister at 11.30am on Thursday.
Asked whether the Algerian government would launch an assault without consulting foreign leaders, Mr Hand told Channel 4 News: "I'm afraid it's perfectly possible, that sort of thing has happened in the past.
"I think it's very disappointing, I'm sure the Prime Minister is right to be angry about it. I feel certain the British ambassador in Algiers has expressed the Prime Minister's views."
Foreign Secretary William Hague earlier questioned whether the terrorist attack was really linked to the Mali intervention, pointing out that such a complex operation would have taken some time to plan.
"There is no excuse for such behaviour, whatever excuse they may claim," he said.
"It is absolutely unacceptable, of course. It is, in this case, the cold-blooded murder of people going about their business. So there is no excuse, whether it be connected to Libya, Mali or anywhere else."
But Mr Hand said: "I have to think that it's linked to Mali, for the simple reason that this is a most unusual thing to happen.
"There are many, many oil and gas installations in the Algerian desert and I am not aware of any serious occurrences previously for years and suddenly we get this.
"There have been instances of hostage-taking among tourists but not hitting the oil and gas installations.
"So I think it's deliberate and it's tied."
what do you think?
Did the American`s warn Pakistani people about bombing them with Drones.Keep your well smacked xxxx face out of it Cameron.
Has everyone signed - don't you want to see them squirm as they apologise on record bringing shame over time. Google Force ministers to retract untrue or misleading statements. Then again if you're a sheep do nothing and bahhh to you.
Well done the Algerian Government and Special Forces for taking decisive action in a time of crisis.
I bet the kin of the 3 British workers who were killed and the 3 feared killed think it's well done Brian.
The Americans British and France have had disastrous hostage rescue`s. Well done Algeria sorry about loss of life but it is a warning to other Muslim criminal `s the end result will cost them their life.
Mr Hand is entitled to his opinion but as William Hague has previously stated, a large attack such as this takes a long time to plan and I believe it is unconnected to the situation in Mali. The terrorists have simply siezed on Mali as an excuse for their totally unjustified actions at the gas plant. As far as the military action is concerned, the Algerians are entitled to take whatever action they deem necessary since it is their territory that is affected. If such an incident took place in Britain, then we would certainly not allow the interference of any foreign power in our internal security affairs...............