Brown thanks Portugal over Madeleine McCann

Brown speaks of "heart rending" case
Brown speaks of "heart rending" case

Prime minister Gordon Brown has thanked the Portuguese authorities for their efforts in trying to find missing British toddler Madeleine McCann.

Mr Brown said it was a highly detailed investigation and he was "grateful to the Portuguese authorities for the time and effort that is being put into the investigation".

He said Gerry and Kate McCann appreciated the work being done to find their daughter.

"Obviously there are issues they want to be assured about and I have raised these with the Portuguese prime minister," Mr Brown continued.

"He has assured me that everything that can be done will be done."

Speaking during his first press conference as prime minister, Mr Brown said Madeleine's disappearance was "heart rending in its sadness" and said he looked forward to progress.

Mr Brown this morning held talks with the Portuguese prime minister Jose Socrates.

It is the first meeting between the two leaders since Mr Brown was appointed prime minister and comes as Portugal assumes the EU presidency.

Mr Socrates is pushing for progress on the EU Treaty, agreed in draft form at last month's EU summit.

He wants to push for a Treaty of Lisbon in October and today told Mr Brown Europe had to move from a mandate to a formalised treaty.

Talks on the wording of the treaty began on July 23. Mr Brown affirmed today the UK would seek to see its "negotiating objectives" in the detail of the agreement.

Tony Blair went into the EU summit committed to four "red lines", including an opt-out for the UK over security and an independent foreign policy.

The UK prime minister said it was important for EU leaders to agree the treaty, in order that the EU can move forward to discussing other issues such as climate change, economic cooperation and terrorism.

Mr Brown and Mr Socrates discussed the recent terror threat and the Portuguese prime minister said he would make it top of his agenda during his presidency.

Mr Socrates later told reporters all European governments feel solidarity with the UK following the failed terror attacks. He unreservedly condemned the attacks and congratulated the UK government on its response.

The commitment to an EU-wide counter terrorism strategy came as the head of Interpol said the UK was not doing enough to protect itself against terror attacks.

Interpol chief Ronald Noble said the UK must introduce tougher checks on new migrants and make greater use of international databases.


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