LONDON, Jan 17, 2013 (AFP) -
LONDON, Jan 17, 2013 (AFP) –
British Prime Minister David Cameron has postponed a key speech on the future of the EU he was to give in the Netherlands on Friday because of the Algerian hostage crisis, his office said.
Cameron himself said the situation was “very dangerous” and Britain should prepare for “the possibility of bad news ahead”, indicating that several Britons could have been killed in the military offensive to free hostages.
“We face a very bad situation at this BP gas compound in Algeria. A number of British citizens have been taken hostage,” Cameron said in a televised statement.
“Already we know of one who has died. The Algerian armed forces have now attacked this compound.
“It is a very dangerous, very uncertain, a very fluid situation and I think we have to prepare ourselves for the possibility of bad news ahead.”
A British man was killed when Islamist gunmen stormed the BP-operated In Amenas gas plant on Wednesday and several Britons are believed to be hostages at the plant.
Cameron was to have given an eagerly-awaited speech in Amsterdam to set out plans to renegotiate Britain’s European Union membership and then allow voters to decide on the new terms in a referendum after elections in 2015.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “I can confirm that the prime minister has postponed his speech tomorrow because of the Algerian crisis.”