UK's Cameron: A joyful moment amid difficult times
Inside the historic residence of 10 Downing Street Wednesday, Katie Couric held a conversation with Prime Minister David Cameron about Libya, the British economy and, of course, the royal wedding.
She began the interview by asking about a quote from a government official who said Britain must be ready for "the long haul" in Libya.
Cameron: What we should be is I think we should be both patient and persistent. Patient because, yes, this does take time to get this right. But persistent because we are doing, with our allies, absolutely the right thing. We must keeping turning up the pressure military pressure, diplomatic pressure, political pressure, so that we give Libyans a better chance at a better life.
Couric: Can you envision arming the rebels in a more significant way? I know that Great Britain is currently providing some equipment and military advisers, but it's in its sixth week, this military intervention, and the rebels have not made significant progress.
Cameron: Well, I wouldn't rule that out, but what we have done so far is we've helped the rebels, in line with the U.N. resolution 1973, to protect civilian life by giving them better communications equipment. But when you say, you know, it's been six weeks and they haven't made progress, you know, six weeks ago we were looking down the barrel of a massacre in Benghazi. And I would say actually we've already prevented that. And I think the pressure needs to be turned up even further. And I've discussed that with President Obama and I know that he takes that view, too.Special Royal Wedding Section
In Great Britain, the Prime Minister is facing another battle over deep budget cuts known as his austerity program. Facing a $260 billion deficit, Cameron's government slashed spending by 25 percent, raised the sales tax, and eliminated more than 130,000 public sector jobs. The moves sparked protests which could rain on the royal wedding parade.(Scroll down to watch Cameron's comments on the deficit and President Obama.)
Cameron: I mean, look, we are doing difficult things in Britain. I don't hide that from anybody. And we had this 11 percent budget deficit. And that does mean difficult decisions. And, frankly, you know, that's what they pay the politicians for. But I hope that this Friday will be a moment of happiness and joy and light relief after some difficult times.
Adding to the festivities, 10 Downing Street will open its gates for its first-ever block party on Friday.
Cameron: We've got some charities involved and they're going to bring some people. And we're going to have bunting flags and stuff and -
Couric: Some tea?
Cameron: Some tea, some cakes and sandwiches. And hopefully some fun.
Couric: Have you bought them a gift? A blender? A toaster?
Cameron: I did think, well, I thought they've probably got everything. But he's currently serving in Anglesey, which is a small island off the coast of Wales where he does search and rescue and flies a helicopter. Very brave. And I've got him a present to do Anglesey. It's a lovely book and beautiful photographs and things like that.
Couric: What does the royal wedding mean to you personally? This big event that's gaining worldwide attention.
Cameron: It's sort of hard to explain because it's - I think British people, we feel very deeply about the monarchy and the institution, so it's that mixture of it's the good-looking prince and the beautiful princess, but it's so much more than that. It's this institution that's helped bind the country together. And it's got this amazing history that goes way, way back. And that has produced these incredible people and incredible teams, you know - if you think about it in past and this is like the team of the future. So it's all those things. And an excuse for a bit of a party and some fun at the same time.Watch Cameron's comments on Obama and the deficit, below
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