British PM urges 'sensible dialogue' on BP spill

17th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron called Thursday for "sensible dialogue" on the BP oil spill as the energy giant's boss faced a grilling in the US Congress over the environmental disaster.

"It's up to congressmen to make their own views heard," Cameron told reporters in Brussels when asked about the tough comments directed at BP chief executive Tony Hayward in Washington over Gulf of Mexico spill.

"Our view is that what happened is clearly an environmental catastrophe and we need to do everything we can to help with the clean-up, and to stand by to help in that way," he said.

Cameron described BP as an important company which employs tens of thousands of people both in Britain and the United States, and stressed that he wanted it to remain "strong and stable."

He added: "I want to see us deal with these problems and issues. I think the right way to do that is through sensible dialogue and talking about these things as President (Barack) Obama and I did in a phone call last Saturday."

Cameron said BP recognised it had obligations and "will have to spend a very large amount of money to cap the leak, to deal with the clean-up, to pay compensation where it's appropriate. All of those things it wants to do and of course it should do.

"But I know what BP also wants is some form of clarity and certainty about the future so that it can be a strong and stable company, and of course as the British prime minister I would like to see that happen."

On Wednesday, Cameron said BP must be given "a level of certainty" about its liabilities from the deep-water leak, which was triggered by the explosion of an oil rig in April.

© 2010 AFP

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